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Part of Western Brow round barrow cemetery and an Anglo-Saxon barrow field 700m south of Westmeston Farm

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: Part of Western Brow round barrow cemetery and an Anglo-Saxon barrow field 700m south of Westmeston Farm

List entry Number: 1014634

Location

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

County: East Sussex

District: Lewes

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Westmeston

National Park: SOUTH DOWNS

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 27-Jan-1967

Date of most recent amendment: 08-Jul-1996

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 27052

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

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 variety 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.

Bowl barrows are the most numerous form of round barrow and date from the Late Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age. Most examples were constructed in the period 2400-1500 BC. They occur across most of lowland Britain and, although superficially similar in appearance, exhibit regional variations of form and a diversity of burial practices. Barrow fields are groups of between five and 300 closely-spaced hlaews, or burial mounds, dating to the early medieval period. The usually circular mounds, some of which are surrounded by an earthen ditch, were constructed over one or more inhumation burials. These were deposited in west-east aligned, rectangular graves cut into the underlying bedrock. Cremation burials, sometimes deposited in pottery urns, have also been found. Many burials were furnished with accompanying grave goods, including jewellery and weapons, and, at two sites, wooden ships were discovered within large mounds. Most barrow fields were in use during the pagan Anglo-Saxon period between the sixth and seventh centuries AD, although barrows dating to the fifth and eighth centuries AD have also been found. The distribution of barrow fields is concentrated within south eastern England, particularly in prominent locations on the Kent and Sussex Downs. However, one Viking barrow field dating to the late ninth century AD is known in Derbyshire, and the two barrow fields containing known ship burials are located near river estuaries in Suffolk. Barrow fields are a rare monument type, with only around 40 examples known nationally. They provide important and otherwise rare archaeological information about the people who constructed and used them. All positively identified examples with significant surviving remains are considered worthy of protection. The part of Western Brow round barrow cemetery and barrow field which lies 700m south of Westmeston Farm survives comparatively well and will contain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed.

History

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

Details

The monument includes two bowl barrows situated near the western end of a linear round barrow cemetery dating to the prehistoric period, which runs from west to east along a ridge of the Sussex Downs, and eight hlaews, or Anglo-Saxon burial mounds, forming the eastern half of a barrow field. A hummocky area towards the south western edge of the monument represents the remains of further, partly disturbed barrows. The Anglo-Saxon burial mounds, constructed many centuries after the round barrow cemetery, cluster around the larger, earlier bowl barrows. The largest bowl barrow, situated towards the north western corner of the monument, has a circular mound c.14m in diameter, surviving to a height of c.0.4m. This has a large central hollow, indicating that the barrow has been the subject of part excavation some time in the past. The mound is surrounded by a ditch from which material used to construct the barrow was excavated. This has become infilled over the years, but survives as a buried feature c.2m wide. Towards the southern edge of the monument, the second bowl barrow has a circular mound c.10m wide and c.0.5m high, its profile partly disturbed by a track on its northern side. The mound is surrounded by a buried quarry ditch c.2m wide. The eight identifiable hlaews lie on the eastern side of the monument and have low, roughly circular mounds between 4m and 7m in diameter and c.0.3m high, each surrounded by a buried quarry ditch c.1m wide.

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

Other
source 2, RCHME, TQ 31 SW 23, (1934)

National Grid Reference: TQ 33950 12809

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.
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This copy shows the entry on 22-Nov-2017 at 10:13:29.

End of official listing