Round barrow cemetery in New Plantation 590m ESE of Amesbury Junction

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1014097

Date first listed: 05-Mar-1996

Map

Ordnance survey map of Round barrow cemetery in New Plantation 590m ESE of Amesbury Junction
© 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: Newton Tony

National Grid Reference: SU 23289 38927

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 and round barrows, flint mines, and evidence for settlement, land division and agriculture. Round barrow cemeteries date to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They comprise closely-spaced groups of up to 30 round barrows - rubble or earthen mounds covering single or multiple burials. Most cemeteries developed over a considerable period of time, often many centuries, and in some cases acted as a focus for burials as late as the early medieval period. They exhibit considerable diversity of burial rite, plan and form, frequently including several different types of round barrow, occasionally associated with earlier long barrows. Where large scale investigation has been undertaken around them, contemporary or later `flat' burials between the barrow mounds have often been revealed. Round barrow cemeteries occur across most of lowland Britain, with a marked concentration in Wessex. In some cases, they are clustered around other important contemporary monuments such as henges. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape, whilst their diversity and their longevity as a monument type provide important information on the varitey of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving or partly-surviving examples are considered worthy of protection. The barrow cemetery in New Plantation is a comparatively well preserved example of its class which survey has shown to contain unusual and fragile individual barrows. Despite some erosion caused by burrowing animals and the disturbance of some mounds, all of the component barrows exhibit a largely original profile. The cemetery will contain archaeological remains providing information about Bronze Age beliefs, economy and environment.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a small cemetery of six tightly clustered round barrows which lies on the crest of a north west facing spur in New Plantation, on the north side of Tower Hill. The largest, best preserved, and most southerly barrow within the cemetery is of bell-disc form. It has a circular raised area 7m in diameter and c.1m high within which a small depression may represent the site of an unrecorded antiquarian excavation. The raised area lies on a relatively flat central platform, 14m in diameter which is surrounded by a ditch 2m wide and c.0.4m deep. Beyond the ditch on the north, west and south sides is a bank, 3m wide and 0.3m high. To the east of the bell-disc barrow is a barrow of unusual form which survives as a low rectangular mound, c.10m by 10m. To the north of the bell-disc barrow lie two ditched bowl barrows. The easterly example has a mound c.11m in diameter and 0.5m high which is surrounded by a broad ditch 5m wide and 0.4m deep. Beyond this, on the north east side of the barrow, is a length of external bank 2m wide and 0.3m high. The westerly bowl barrow has an elongated mound 9m by 6m and 0.5m high to the south east of which lies part of the ditch, 2m wide and 0.4m deep. Elsewhere around the mound this will survive as a buried feature. Beyond this to the north east is a low cresent shaped outer bank. To the north of the two bowl barrows lie two small conjoined oval barrows. Each has a mound c.4m by 9m and c.0.6m high and neither appears to have a surrounding ditch.

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: 26762

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Bowen, H C, Eagles, B N (ed), The archaeology of Bokerley Dyke, (1990), 81

End of official listing