Pond barrow 480m west of Olddown Barn on Amesbury Down

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1015027

Date first listed: 18-Apr-1955

Date of most recent amendment: 09-Mar-2001

Map

Ordnance survey map of Pond barrow 480m west of Olddown Barn on Amesbury Down
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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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: Amesbury

National Grid Reference: SU 14430 39894

Summary

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

Reasons for Designation

Pond barrows are ceremonial or funerary monuments of the Early to Middle Bronze Age, most examples dating to between 1500 and 1000 BC. The term "barrow" is something of a misnomer as, rather than a mound, they were constructed as regular circular depressions with an embanked rim and, occasionally, an outer ditch or an entrance through the bank. Where excavation has occurred, single or multiple pits or cists, occasionally containing human remains, have usually been discovered within the central depression, whilst at one example a well-like shaft was revealed. Pond barrows occur either singly or, more frequently, within round barrow cemeteries (closely-spaced groups of barrows). The function and role of pond barrows is not fully understood but their close association with other types of barrow and the limited but repeated occurrence of human remains from excavated examples supports their identification as ceremonial monuments involved in funerary ritual. Pond barrows are the rarest form of round barrow, with about 60 examples recorded nationally and a distribution largely confined to Wiltshire and Dorset. They are representative of their period and, as few examples have been excavated, they have a particularly high value for future study with the potential to provide important evidence on the nature and variety of beliefs amongst prehistoric communities. Due to their rarity, all identified pond barrows would normally be considered to be of national importance.

Despite the central depression having being infilled and the bank reduced by ploughing, the pond barrow 480m west of Olddown Barn on Amesbury Down 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 a pond barrow situated on a gentle north facing slope on Amesbury Down above the River Avon valley. The central hollow of the barrow is visible as a circular spread of dark soil 10m in diameter. It is surrounded by a bank 3m wide most prominent on the southern, uphill side where it is visible as a concentration of chalk and flint.

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: 28934

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 225

End of official listing