Round barrow cemetery and parts of a field system 500m west of Whitmore House


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016824

Date first listed: 07-Jul-1999


Ordnance survey map of Round barrow cemetery and parts of a field system 500m west of Whitmore House
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This copy shows the entry on 13-Nov-2018 at 18:21:19.


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

District: Shropshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Baschurch

National Grid Reference: SJ 41498 21886, SJ 41541 21991, SJ 41617 21964


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.

Despite being truncated by ploughing, the round barrow cemetery 500m west of Whitmore House survives reasonably well. The accumulated ditch fills in particular will contain artefactual and environmental evidence for the activities which took place at the site during the construction of the barrows, and their subsequent use.

Where burials survive, these remains will contribute significantly to our understanding of ritual practices and the social organisation of these people. The juxtaposition of the field system and the barrows will help to define when the agricultural landscape was established here, and to what degree the organisation of this landscape changed during prehistory. The accumulated fills of the field boundary ditches will also preserve environmental remains.


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


The monument includes the buried remains of a dispersed Bronze Age barrow cemetery consisting of eight bowl barrows within three areas of protection, on level and undulating ground to the north of the River Perry. From this location there are extensive views of the surrounding countryside especially to the south.

The mounds, which were constructed over the burials, have been reduced in height by ploughing. The circular quarry ditches that surrounded the mounds have, however, been recorded from aerial photographs taken on numerous occasions since 1979.

The largest barrow is also the most elaborate. It is defined by a circular ditch about 3m wide enclosing an area approximately 18m across. A concentric ditch, about 2m wide, lies within this area and encloses an area approximately 4m in diameter. This inner ditch defines the central burial chamber. All the other barrows are of a similar size. Each one has a ditch approximately 2m wide enclosing an area 10m-12m across.

Aerial photographs show that the barrows were associated with a series of linear ditches, some of which are arranged in a regular manner and would have defined blocks of land. These are considered to be the traces of ancient field boundaries, some of which appear to be contemporary with, or later than, the barrow cemetery. Those parts of the field system which lie within 20m of the barrows are included in the scheduling in order to preserve the relationship between them and the barrow cemetery.

The modern field boundary is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath it 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: 32297

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Leah, M , The Wetlands of Shropshire and Staffordshire, (1998), 53-4

End of official listing