Five round barrows 1040m NNE of Baltic Farm forming part of a barrow cemetery on North Down


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
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Ordnance survey map of Five round barrows 1040m NNE of Baltic Farm forming part of a barrow cemetery on North Down
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)
Bishops Cannings
National Grid Reference:
SU 04663 67757

Reasons for Designation

A small number of areas in southern England appear to have acted as foci for ceremonial and ritual activity during the Neolithic and Early Bronze Age periods. Two of the best known and earliest recognised, with references in the 17th century, are around Avebury and Stonehenge, now jointly designated as a World Heritage Site. In the Avebury area, the henge monument itself, the West Kennet Avenue, the Sanctuary, West Kennet long barrow, Windmill Hill causewayed enclosure and the enigmatic Silbury Hill are well-known. Whilst the other Neolithic long barrows, the many Bronze Age round barrows and other associated sites are less well-known, together they define one of the richest and most varied areas of Neolithic and Bronze Age ceremonial and ritual monuments in the country. 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 barrow 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, as is the case both here and at Stonehenge. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major historic element in 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. All examples are considered worthy of protection.

This group of barrows, like the cemetery to which it belongs, includes a variety of examples of rare barrow types, all of which survive well. The pond barrow is one of the best recorded examples of its class. Part excavations within the cemetery have demonstrated the extent to which archaeological remains survive. These remains will include archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the cemetery and the landscape in which it was built.


The monument includes a group of round barrows aligned north east to south west forming part of a round barrow cemetery situated on North Down. The cemetery contains a total of 18 barrows in all. This monument contains five, including two disc barrows, a pond barrow, a bell barrow and a bowl barrow. The two disc barrows lie at the western end of the group. Both barrows have small, central mounds measuring between 7.5m and 8.8m in diameter and standing from 0.3m up to 0.6m high. The mounds are surrounded by wide, level berms which measure from 6.5m to 8.8m wide. Beyond this lie enclosing quarry ditches from which material was obtained during the construction of the mounds and the outer banks. These ditches measure from 3.6m to 4m wide and are visible as open features c.0.3m deep. Surrounding the ditches are outer banks 3.6m to 4m wide and standing up to 0.3m high above ground level. The western mound has suffered damage due to ploughing in the past and the bank is now difficult to see at ground level. One of these barrows was excavated in 1804 when a primary cremation contained in an urn was recovered. This was accompanied by slate, bone and amber objects including beads. The bell barrow has a mound which measures 16.5m in diameter and stands up to 2m high. Its wide berm is 3.6m wide and is surrounded by a 3m wide quarry ditch which survives as a slight depression visible at ground level and up to 0.2m deep. There is a hollow depression in the centre of the mound which indicates that it has been excavated, although it is not known if this was done in 1804 when some of the other barrows were excavated. The bowl barrow has been reduced by cultivation to a low earthwork spread just visible at ground level. However, it is known from previous records and aerial photographs that the mound measures 8.5m in diameter and stood 0.3m high in the 1960s. It is now c.0.2m high. Surrounding the mound, but no longer visible at ground level, is a quarry ditch which has become infilled over the years. This survives as a buried feature 2m wide. The barrow was partly excavated in 1804 without result and again in 1857 when a large urn containing a cremation was found. The pond barrow has a hollow 28m in diameter and 0.9m deep at the centre. This is enclosed by a 5.5m wide bank which stands up to 0.6m high. Excluded from the scheduling are the post and wire fences around a number of the mounds although the ground beneath is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


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

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Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire, (1957), 216
Grinsell, LV, 'A History of Wiltshire' in A History of Wiltshire, (1957), 208
Grinsell, LV, 'A History of Wiltshire' in A History of Wiltshire, (1957), 157
Wiltshire Arch And Natural History Society, , 'Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine' in Thurnham, , Vol. vi, ()
AER 785-7, Various, Various, (1947)
AER 785-7, Various, Various, (1947)
SU06NW 628, C.A.O., DISC BARROW, (1992)
SU06NW 638, C.A.O., DISC BARROW, (1993)
SU06NW 638, C.A.O., DISC, (1993)
SU06NW 639, C.A.O., 1:10,560 Map (SMR overlay), (1992)
SU06NW 639, C.A.O., DISC BARROW, (1992)
SU06NW 639, C.A.O., DISC BARROW, (1993)
SU06NW 639, C.A.O., DISC, (1993)
SU06NW 640, C.A.O., BELL BARROW, (1993)
SU06NW 640, C.A.O., BELL, (1993)
SU06NW 641, C.A.O., Pond Barrow, (1993)
SU06NW 641, C.A.O., Pond, (1993)
SU06NW 649 ref. to 1804 excavation, C.A.O., BOWL BARROW, (1993)
SU06NW 649, C.A.O., BOWL BARROW, (1993)
SU06NW 649, C.A.O., BOWL, (1993)
Title: Ordnance Survey 1:10560 (SMR overlay) Source Date: 1960 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: SU06NW (overlay)


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

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