Two bowl barrows 265m south of the southern corner of Moll Harris's Clump: part of a group of round barrows on Porton Down
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
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This copy shows the entry on 20-Jul-2019 at 04:01:26.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)
- National Grid Reference:
- SU 22002 35493
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
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.
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.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
- Legacy System number:
- Legacy System:
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
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing