Round barrow cemetery on Woolmer Down, 540m south of Woolmer Pond Cottage


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1020503

Date first listed: 07-Mar-2002


Ordnance survey map of Round barrow cemetery on Woolmer Down, 540m south of Woolmer Pond Cottage
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Hampshire

District: East Hampshire (District Authority)

Parish: Whitehill

National Park: SOUTH DOWNS

National Grid Reference: SU 79080 31715


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 prehistoric round barrow cemetery on Woolmer Down, 540m south of Woolmer Pond Cottage survives comparatively well despite some later disturbance and can be expected to retain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the barrows and the environment in which they were constructed. The monument is closely associated with a number of other round barrow cemeteries and barrow groups within the area of Woolmer Forest which together constitute a particularly well-preserved ritual landscape of the Late Neolithic and Bronze Age periods.


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


The monument includes a prehistoric round barrow cemetery of Late Neolithic or Bronze Age date (3000-700 BC) prominently situated on a sandy ridge in Woolmer Forest, overlooking Woolmer Pond 200m to the north west. It includes five closely spaced bowl barrows aligned over a distance of approximately 125m along the south western brow of the ridge and a sixth bowl barrow situated 80m to the east. It is one of a large number of round barrow cemeteries, barrow groups and isolated barrows located in and around Woolmer Forest, some of which are the subject of separate schedulings. Most of the barrows have shallow central depressions indicating possible later excavation, and some have been damaged by the excavation of narrow slit trenches and by heavy vehicle tracks associated with the modern use of the area as a military training ground. They survive, however, as roughly circular mounds, ranging from 8m to 21m in diameter and from 0.6m to 1.7m in height. Those arranged along the brow of the ridge are spaced on average 10m apart except for two barrows which abut one another. One barrow is surrounded by a shallow ditch, 3m wide and 0.1m deep, from which material would have been obtained for the mound's construction. Similar surrounding ditches, now infilled by the later use of the monument, may also be expected to survive around the other barrows. Further archaeological remains associated with the original construction and use of the barrows, including burials, grave pits, burial goods, and the original ground surface, can also be expected to survive as buried features beneath and between the mounds. The Ministry of Defence marker stars and fence situated on the monument are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them 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: 34145

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing