Bell barrow, bowl barrow and regular aggregate field system immediately east of Ganderdown Farm
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
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This copy shows the entry on 25-May-2019 at 16:55:16.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- Winchester (District Authority)
- Winchester (District Authority)
- National Park:
- SOUTH DOWNS
- National Grid Reference:
- SU 55993 27284
Reasons for Designation
Regular aggregate field systems date from the Bronze Age (2000-700 BC) to the
end of the fifth century AD. They usually cover areas of up to 100ha and
comprise a discrete block of fields orientated in roughly the same direction,
with the field boundaries laid out along two axes set at right angles to one
another. Individual fields generally fall within the 0.1ha-3.2ha range and can
be square, rectangular, long and narrow, triangular or polygonal in shape. The
field boundaries can take various forms (including drystone walls or reaves,
orthostats, earth and rubble banks, pit alignments, ditches, fences and
lynchets) and follow straight or sinuous courses. Component features common to
most systems include entrances and trackways, and the settlements or
farmsteads from which people utilised the fields over the years have been
identified in some cases. These are usually situated close to or within the
The development of field systems is seen as a response to the competition for
land which began during the later prehistoric period. The majority are thought
to have been used mainly for crop production, evidenced by the common
occurrence of lynchets resulting from frequent ploughing, although rotation
may also have been practised in a mixed farming economy. Regular aggregate
field systems occur widely and have been recorded in south western and south
eastern England, East Anglia, Cheshire, Cumbria, Nottinghamshire, North and
South Yorkshire and Durham. They represent a coherent economic unit often
utilised for long periods of time and can thus provide important information
about developments in agricultural practices in a particular location and
broader patterns of social, cultural and environmental change over several
centuries. Those which survive well and/or which can be positively linked to
associated settlements are considered to merit protection.
Bowl barrows are the most numerous form of round barrows and date from the Late Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age, with most examples belonging to the period 2400-1500 BC. Bell barrows, the most visually impressive form of round barrow, date to the Early and Middle Bronze Age, with most examples belonging to the period 1500-1100 BC. They are rare nationally with less than 250 examples, most of which are in Wessex. The bell barrow, bowl barrow and regular aggregate field system immediately east of Ganderdown Farm survive well with comparatively little disturbance and can be expected to retain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the various components of the monument and the environment in which they were constructed. Their association with one another and with a later series of hollow ways demonstrates the importance of the monument for a wide variety of uses from the prehistoric to the later Saxon and medieval periods.
The monument includes a bell barrow, a probable bowl barrow and a regular
aggregate field system situated on the western slope of a broad spur
projecting north from Gander Down. The two barrows are of Late Neolithic or
Bronze Age date (2400-1100 BC), while the later field system is of probable
Iron Age Date (sixth century BC to the mid-first century AD), although it may
have continued in use through the Romano-British period.
The two barrows are prominently situated within the field system along the
brow of a subsidiary spur, commanding extensive views of the South Downs to
the south and west. The bell barrow is the most impressive and includes a flat
topped, oval shaped mound, 1m high, surrounded to the north and east by a
narrow berm and a semicircular section of ditch, 6m wide. Both the ditch and
berm would originally have surrounded the barrow, but they have been partly
destroyed by a lynchet of the later field system that has been cut hard
against the southern side of the mound, and buried by spoil from a modern
trench that has been excavated through the centre of the barrow. The other
barrow is a probable bowl barrow, situated 70m to the west within the fork of
two later hollow ways which join at the end of the spur. It is indicated by a
low, roughly circular mound, approximately 12m in diameter, although this may
be the result of spoil thrown from the hollow ways. Buried remains associated
with the original use of both barrows, including burials, grave pits and
burial goods, can be expected to survive beneath the mounds.
The later field system is a conspicuous and well preserved example of its kind
covering an area of approximately 14ha on slopes of up to 12 degrees.
It includes a series of relatively narrow, rectangular fields oriented along
two axes set at right angles. This grid has been imposed onto the landscape so
that, although in many places the fields follow the contour, elsewhere they
are arranged diagonally to the slope. The individual fields range in size from
0.6ha to 1.2ha and average 60m in width. The field boundaries are formed
principally by negative earthwork lynchets which form steep banks ranging from
1.2m to 3m in height. They are best preserved over the northern half of the
monument where they are frequently capped by positive lynchets, typically 4m
wide and 0.25m high. Both negative and positive lynchets are created by
ancient ploughing techniques on sloping ground. The disturbed soil will tend
to slip downhill leaving a well marked scarp known as a negative lynchet.
Positive lynchets are created by downhill build up of soil on a field
boundary. Where field boundaries meet the combination of positive lynchet
lying above a negative lynchet produces the characteristic bank indicative of
fields of ancient date. The most northerly fields are slightly staggered,
with trackways leading between them where they overlap. Aerial photographs
indicate that the monument is the remnant of a more extensive system, further
traces of which survive but are not included in the scheduling.
More recent use of the monument is indicated by the series of hollow ways
which fan out over the site, the most substantial of which crosses from north
west to south east and forms the modern route of the South Downs Way. It may
originally have formed part of a major ridgeway leading to the south east from
Winchester. This route is recorded in Saxon charters and remained in use
during the medieval period.
The fence posts, gates, water troughs, pipes and associated fittings situated
on the monument 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.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
- Legacy System number:
- Legacy System:
Books and journals
Sawyer, P H, Anglo-Saxon Charters. An Annotated List and Bibliography, (1968)
Grundy, G B, 'Archaeological Journal' in The Saxon Land Charters of Hampshire, , Vol. 81, (1924), 109-116
Moffat, A J, 'Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club' in The Distribution Of Celtic Fields On The East Hampshire Chalks, , Vol. 44, (1988), 11-23
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing