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Winterbourne Stoke East round barrow cemetery and earthwork enclosure on Fore Down

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: Winterbourne Stoke East round barrow cemetery and earthwork enclosure on Fore Down

List entry Number: 1015020

Location

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

County:

District: Wiltshire

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Winterbourne Stoke

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 10-Mar-1925

Date of most recent amendment: 30-Aug-1996

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 28922

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

A small number of areas in southern England appear to have acted as foci for ceremonial and ritual activity during the Neolithic and Bronze Age periods. Two of the best known and earliest recognised areas are around Avebury and Stonehenge, now jointly designated as a World Heritage Site. The area of chalk downland which surrounds Stonehenge contains one of the densest and most varied groups of Neolithic and Bronze Age field monuments in Britain. Included within the area are Stonehenge itself, the Stonehenge cursus, the Durrington Walls henge, and a variety of burial monuments, many grouped into cemeteries. The area has been the subject of archaeological research since the 18th century when Stukeley recorded many of the monuments and partially excavated a number of the burial mounds. More recently, the collection of artefacts from the surfaces of ploughed fields has supplemented the evidence for ritual and burial by revealing the intensity of contemporary settlement and land-use. In view of the importance of the area, all ceremonial and sepulchral monuments of this period which retain significant archaeological remains are identified as nationally important. 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 Avebury. Often occupying prominent positions, 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.

The Winterbourne Stoke East round barrow cemetery survives well and part excavation of the barrows has shown that they contain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed. The earthwork enclosure which surrounds the barrow cemetery on Fore Down represents an unusual association.

History

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

Details

The monument includes the 11 barrows of the Winterbourne Stoke East round barrow cemetery and the oval earthwork enclosure within which they lie, situated on the south western end of Fore Down with views westwards over the valley of the River Till. The nucleated cemetery includes ten bowl barrows and a saucer barrow all of which survive as earthworks. Seven of the barrows are arranged in a line approximately north west to south east. Three others are located to the west and one other to the east of this line. The mounds of the bowl barrows range from 9m to 31m in diameter, and from 0.3m to 1.8m high. All are surrounded by ditches, ranging in size from 1.5m wide in the case of the smallest barrow, to 3m wide around the largest mound. The saucer barrow is situated between two of the bowl barrows in the north west to south east alignment. The central mound is 10.5m in diameter and 0.5m high, surrounded by a ditch 2m wide and the whole enclosed by an outer bank 3m wide. The ditches of the bowl barrows have slightly truncated the outer bank which would suggest an earlier date for the saucer barrow. All the barrows are known to have been partly excavated in the 19th century, most revealing evidence of burial. Both cremations and inhumations were found accompanied by a variety of grave goods including Bronze Age pots, a bone arrowhead and drinking cups. Also included in the monument is a broadly oval earthwork enclosure within which the barrows lie. The earthwork includes a low bank up to 3m wide and 0.3m high and a shallow outer ditch c.2m wide. The earthwork, within which there is a gap on the north east side, encloses an area of 3ha. It has been suggested as being of post-medieval date but this remains unproven. All fence posts are excluded from the scheduling, but the ground beneath these features 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
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 271
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 115-116
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 115-116
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 115-116
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 115-116
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 115-116
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 115-116
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 115-116
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 115-116
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 115-116
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 115-116
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 115-116
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 115-116

National Grid Reference: SU 08250 42350

Map

Map
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This copy shows the entry on 23-Jun-2018 at 10:56:31.

End of official listing