Bowl barrow 630m south east of Waterhall Farm, part of the Chippenham barrow cemetery

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1015243

Date first listed: 08-Dec-1969

Date of most recent amendment: 13-Nov-1996

Map

Ordnance survey map of Bowl barrow 630m south east of Waterhall Farm, part of the Chippenham barrow cemetery
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Location

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Cambridgeshire

District: East Cambridgeshire (District Authority)

Parish: Chippenham

National Grid Reference: TL 68421 66900

Summary

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.

The bowl barrow 630m south east of Waterhall Farm survives in good condition. The results of the excavation of neighbouring barrows provide an insight into the wealth of archaeological information which the monument will contain. Funerary remains together with other artefacts and structural evidence will provide details concerning the date of the barrow's construction, the duration of its use and the character of prehistoric ritual practice. The former ground surface beneath the mound may retain valuable evidence for activities preceding its construction and, using modern methods of analysis, environmental evidence for the appearance of the landscape in which the monument was set. The 1940 excavations were of a high standard and made a significant contribution to the understanding of prehistoric burial practices in the region. Although the excavated barrows no longer exist, records and artifact collections preserve details which place the remaining barrow in context, thereby allowing further study of this small barrow group in relation to the wider barrow cemetery, and in relation to prehistoric ritual and settlement within the region.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a Bronze Age bowl barrow located to the south of the Ely to Bury St Edmunds railway line, and to the east of Chippenham Road. The barrow stands within a level area of pasture near the top of a gradual south facing slope. The mound measures c.34m in diameter and c.0.7m high, with a flattened summit and shallow sloping sides. The barrow was first noted in the late 1930s. Two adjacent barrows (within the plantation which then covered the site) were excavated in 1940. The first of these lay some 20m to the east of the surviving barrow, and was found to be a ditchless mound with a core of compact sand overlying the cremated remains of one adult and at least one child. The second barrow lay c.60m to the SSW. This mound was encircled by a buried ditch and contained a similar sandy core, in this case overlying a surface of packed flint. The primary burial could not be identified here, although two secondary cremation burials were uncovered in the upper part of the core. Both barrows were thoroughly archaeologically excavated and the area has subsequently been ploughed. Neither is included in the scheduling. The remaining earthwork was partly examined by trial trench in 1940 but not fully excavated, neither was it cultivated following the removal of the plantation in the 1960s. In addition to being the last surviving member of this small group of barrows, the monument also forms part of a wider alignment of barrows which extends from east to west across the low chalk escarpment to the south of Chippenham Park (the Chippenham barrow cemetery). This alignment included at least ten such barrows, of which seven (including this one) still remain, the furthest sited near the present junction of the A11 and the A14 some 1.5km to the west. The alignment broadly coincides with the route of the Roman road between Great Chesterford and Thetford (the Icknield Way). This cemetery (together with other barrows located more widely along the route) is indicative of a far earlier prehistoric trackway following the chalk escarpment.

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: 27177

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Bray, S, Chippenham Park and Fen River Pipeline Archaeological Assessment, (1991)
Leaf, C S, 'PCAS' in Further Excavations in Bronze Age Barrows at Chippenham, Cambs, , Vol. 39, (1940), 30-34
Other
7447 Howe Hill Barrow, (1985)
FMW reports, Paterson, H, Scheduled Ancient Monument Report Form, (1991)
Records of NW excavated barrow, 4465-7, (1985)
Records of southern excavated barrow, 4464, (1985)

End of official listing