Triple bell barrow 530m north of Field Barn on Amesbury Down

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1015028

Date first listed: 03-Mar-1927

Date of most recent amendment: 30-Aug-1996

Map

Ordnance survey map of Triple bell barrow 530m north of Field 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 14838 39448

Summary

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

Reasons for Designation

Bell barrows, the most visually impressive form of round barrow, are funerary monuments dating to the Early and Middle Bronze Age, with most examples belonging to the period 1500-1100 BC. They occur either in isolation or in round barrow cemeteries and were constructed as single or multiple mounds covering burials, often in pits, and surrounded by an enclosure ditch. The burials are frequently accompanied by weapons, personal ornaments and pottery and appear to be those of aristocratic individuals, usually men. Bell barrows (particularly multiple barrows) are rare nationally, with less than 250 known examples, most of which are in Wessex. Their richness in terms of grave goods provides evidence for chronological and cultural links amongst early prehistoric communities over most of southern and eastern England as well as providing an insight into their beliefs and social organisation. As a particularly rare form of round barrow, all identified bell barrows would normally be considered to be of national importance.

The triple bell barrow on Amesbury Down represents an unusual variation within its class. It 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 a triple bell barrow situated on a broad plateau east of the River Avon valley on Amesbury Down. It is an unusual form of round barrow, originally constructed as three contiguous mounds, aligned broadly east west, surrounded by a single ditch. The most easterly mound is either a flint cairn or an earthen mound capped with flints. Cultivation has blurred the profile of the mounds which now give the appearance of a single oval mound 35m long, 24m wide and 0.9m high, surrounded by a berm c.4m wide. Both mound and berm are enclosed by a shallow, oval ditch up to 4m wide and 0.3m deep. There are traces of an outer bank. Fragments of skull and other human bones were found in the ploughsoil on the barrow in 1972. The mound, berm, oval ditch and part of the outer bank have been marked by 14 concrete bollards. The bollards 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.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: 28936

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
'Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine' in Wiltshire Archaeological Register for 1972, , Vol. Vol 68, (1973), 128

End of official listing