Round barrow cemetery to the south of Codford Down


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016556

Date first listed: 03-Mar-1927

Date of most recent amendment: 16-Apr-1999


Ordnance survey map of Round barrow cemetery to the south of Codford Down
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Codford

National Grid Reference: ST 97884 42762


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 round barrow cemetery south of Codford Down survives well and is a good example of this class of monument. The surviving barrows appear to be little changed since they were recorded at the beginning of the 19th century. Partial excavation has shown that the barrows contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the people who built them and the landscape in which they lived.


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


The monument includes a round barrow cemetery comprising one bell barrow and four bowl barrows situated at the base of the south facing edge of Codford Down on the west side of the valley of the Chitterne Brook. The cemetery originally contained one bell barrow and ten bowl barrows. Of these, the bell barrow and five bowl barrows survive as upstanding earthworks, one of which is an outlier to the east and the subject of a separate scheduling. Additional barrows may survive as buried features within the monument. The bell barrow (ST97894280)is at the northern end of the cemetery. It has a mound with a flat top 6m across which is 2.8m high and 22.5m in diameter. There is a slight berm on the western side. Surrounding it is a quarry ditch 5m wide and 0.5m deep on all but the northern side where it is set into the hillside and has become infilled. To the south west of this is the mound of a bowl barrow (ST97864277). This has been spread by ploughing and is 0.4m high and 21m in diameter. Partial excavation in 1957 showed that this is a scraped up barrow with no surrounding ditch. The mounds of the remaining bowl barrows are surrounded by ditches from which material was quarried during their construction. These have become infilled over the years and survive as buried features. The largest bowl barrow (ST97914268) lies to the south of the others in the group. It has a mound up to 2.2m high and 23.5m in diameter. To the north of this is the mound of another bowl barrow (ST97914274) which is up to 1m high and 20m across and has been truncated on its eastern edge by ploughing. North of this, adjacent to the bell barrow is a low bowl barrow (ST97904278) with a mound 0.3m high and 15.5m in diameter. The barrow cemetery was investigated by William Cunnington and recorded and drawn by the antiquarian Sir Richard Colt Hoare at the beginning of the 19th century. At this time 11 barrows survived in the cemetery which he called the Ashton Valley group. Partial excavation of the barrows at that time and in 1957 revealed inhumations and cremations as well as artefacts including Middle and Late Bronze Age Urns and bronze axeheads. All fenceposts and cattle troughs are excluded from the scheduling although 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.


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

Legacy System number: 31665

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Colt Hoare, R, The Ancient History of Wiltshire: Volume I, (1812), 78
Colt Hoare, R, The Ancient History of Wiltshire: Volume I, (1812), 79
Colt Hoare, R, The Ancient History of Wiltshire: Volume I, (1812), 80
Grinsell, L V, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire, (1957), 166
Annable, F K, 'The Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine' in Excavation And Field Work In Wiltshire 1957, , Vol. 57, (1957), 8-9

End of official listing