Bowl barrow on the summit of Cop Heap


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019384

Date first listed: 24-Nov-2000


Ordnance survey map of Bowl barrow on the summit of Cop Heap
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This copy shows the entry on 21-Jan-2019 at 22:41:27.


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

District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Warminster

National Grid Reference: ST 87981 45584


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

Reasons for Designation

Bowl barrows, the most numerous form of round barrow, are funerary monuments dating from the Late Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age, with most examples belonging to the period 2400-1500 BC. They were constructed as earthen or rubble mounds, sometimes ditched, which covered single or multiple burials. They occur either in isolation or grouped as cemeteries and often acted as a focus for burials in later periods. Often superficially similar, although differing widely in size, they exhibit regional variations in form and a diversity of burial practices. There are over 10,000 surviving bowl barrows recorded nationally (many more have already been destroyed), occurring across most of lowland Britain. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape and their considerable variation of form and longevity as a monument type provide important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisations amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.

The bowl barrow on the summit of Cop Heap survives well in an impressive location. Partial excavation in the 19th century has demonstrated that the barrow will contain further archaeological and environmental evidence which relates to the people who built the barrow, its use and the landscape in which they lived.


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


The monument includes a bowl barrow on the summit of Cop Heap, a spur of Lower Chalk projecting from the south western edge of Salisbury Plain, to the north east of Warminster. There is flat ground to the east and steep slopes on the other three sides. At the eastern end the mound of the barrow is 2.9m high. From north to south, the mound is 27m wide while from east to west it measures 29m. The mound has a flat top measuring 9.4m from north to south and 7.2m from east to west. The barrow was partially excavated by the antiquarians Sir Richard Colt-Hoare and William Cunnington in the early 19th century. They found a primary female inhumation with a child accompanied by shell and bone beads, and two secondary inhumations. At this time the barrow mound was surrounded by a ditch and outer bank. The ditch has become infilled over the years and the bank is no longer visible but both features will survive to the east as buried remains.

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: 33528

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Colt Hoare, R, The Ancient History of Wiltshire: Volume I, (1812), 68

End of official listing