Two bowl barrows 265m south of the southern corner of Moll Harris's Clump: part of a group of round barrows on Porton Down

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1014095

Date first listed: 05-Mar-1996

Map

Ordnance survey map of Two bowl barrows 265m south of the southern corner of Moll Harris's Clump: part of a group of round barrows on Porton Down
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Location

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Idmiston

National Grid Reference: SU 22002 35493

Summary

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Since 1916 the Porton Down Range has been used for military purposes. As on the Salisbury Plain Training Area, this has meant that it has not been subject to the intensive arable farming seen elsewhere on the Wessex chalk. Porton, as a result, is one of very few surviving areas of uncultivated chalk downland in England and contains a range of well-preserved archaeological sites, many of Neolithic or Bronze Age date. These include long barrows and round barrows, flint mines, and evidence for settlement, land division and agriculture. Bowl barrows, the most numerous form of round barrow, are funerary monuments dating from the Late Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age, with most examples belonging to the period 2400-1500 BC. They were constructed as earthen or rubble mounds, sometimes ditched, which covered single or multiple burials. They occur either in isolation or grouped as cemeteries and often acted as a focus for burials in later periods. Often superficially similar, although differing widely in size, they exhibit regional variations in form and a diversity of burial practices. There are over 10,000 surviving bowl barrows recorded nationally (many more have already been destroyed), occurring across most of lowland Britain. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape and their considerable variation of form and longevity as a monument type provide important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.

The more northerly of the two bowl barrows 265m south of the southern corner of Moll Harris's Clump is a comparatively well preserved example of its class which, despite some erosion caused by burrowing animals, exhibits a largely original profile. The barrow will contain archaeological remains providing information about Bronze Age beliefs, economy and environment. Within the other barrow, and despite a greater degree of erosion, archaeological remains will survive.

History

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Details

The monument includes two ditched bowl barrows, among the most northerly of a group of at least seven round barrows which straddles a shallow coombe on Porton Down. The barrows, the line of which is orientated south west-north east, lie on a gentle south facing slope. The larger, most northerly barrow has a mound 18m in diameter and 0.8m high, in the centre of which are traces of disturbance, most probably resulting from an unrecorded antiquarian investigation. Surrounding the mound and visible in places is a ditch 2m wide which, where not visible on the surface, will survive as a buried feature. The second barrow, recorded in 1970 by the Ordnance Survey as being c.20m in diameter and 0.6m high, is now visible only as a slight and gently sloping rise in the natural ground profile. Traces of a ditch surrounding the mound have previously been recorded but are no longer visible. The ditch will survive, however, as a buried feature c.2m wide. Excluded from the scheduling are all archaeological site markers although the ground beneath them is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Legacy

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 26757

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Goddard, Rev E H, 'Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine' in List of Prehistoric, Roman, and Pagan Saxon Antiquities, , Vol. Vol 38, (1913), 267-9

End of official listing