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Round barrow cemetery 250m east of Straight Walk Plantation

List Entry Summary

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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Round barrow cemetery 250m east of Straight Walk Plantation

List entry Number: 1014620

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County:

District: Wiltshire

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Newton Tony

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 22-Mar-1996

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 26769

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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 much of 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 (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 and occasionally associated with earlier long barrows. Where investigation beyond the round barrows has occurred, contemporary or later `flat' burials between the mounds have often been revealed. Round barrow cemeteries occur across most of lowland England with a marked concentration in Wessex. In some cases they are clustered around other important contemporary monuments. Often occupying prominent positions, they are a major historic element of the modern landscape, while their diversity and their longevity as a monument type provide important information on the variety of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. The round barrow cemetery 250m east of Straight Walk Plantation, although not within Porton Down's area of uncultivated downland, is a comparatively well preserved example of its class. Despite some erosion caused by cultivation and antiquarian excavation, the majority of the constituent barrows still exhibit a largely original profile and 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 round barrow cemetery, a linear group of five barrows, aligned north west-south east along the north east facing side of a shallow coomb. The barrows are part of a wider group of at least eight which straddles the coomb to the south of Hampshire Gap. Four of the barrows survive as recognisable earthworks. Of these the largest, most north westerly example is a bowl barrow which has a mound 28m in diameter, the perimeter of which survives to a maximum height of 0.7m. In the centre of the mound is an irregular depression, c.17m in diameter which, in its deepest part is c.1m below the surrounding ground level. Around the mound is a ditch 2.5m wide and 0.3m deep. To its south west lie three further barrows: The first has a mound 22m in diameter and 0.7m high on which there are five discrete areas of comparatively shallow disturbance. Prior to disturbance this barrow was recorded as being a further example of a saucer barrow with an overall diameter of 33m. Although no longer visible on the surface, the ditch will survive as a buried feature c.2.5m wide. The second is a bowl barrow which has a mound 20m in diameter and 0.4m high surrounded by a shallow ditch 2.5m wide. The third, and most south easterly example, is a bowl barrow which has a mound 22m in diameter and 0.6m high. Traces of the ditch can be seen in places but for the majority of its circuit it will survive as a buried feature c.2.5m wide. Immediately north of the largest barrow lies the site of a saucer barrow, which, prior to being levelled by cultivation, was recorded as being 30m in diameter and as having a ditch surrounding its mound. This group of barrows was possibly partly excavated by William Cunnington in the early 19th century. Excluded from the scheduling are all fence and gate posts and 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.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Colt Hoare, R, The Ancient History of Wiltshire: Volume I, (1812), 216
Colt Hoare, R, The Ancient History of Wiltshire: Volume I, (1812), 216
Colt Hoare, R, The Ancient History of Wiltshire: Volume I, (1812), 216
Colt Hoare, R, The Ancient History of Wiltshire: Volume I, (1812), 216
Crawford, O G S, Keiller, A, Wessex from the Air, (1924), 193-5
Grinsell, L V, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire, (1957), 184
Other
Crawford, O G S and Keiller, A, Wessex from the Air, (1928)

National Grid Reference: SU 24080 39323

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2017. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

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This copy shows the entry on 25-Nov-2017 at 12:21:45.

End of official listing