Three bowl barrows on Trow Down 520m north west and 545m west of Bigley Buildings


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1020956

Date first listed: 18-Jul-1955

Date of most recent amendment: 15-Jul-2003


Ordnance survey map of Three bowl barrows on Trow Down 520m north west and 545m west of Bigley Buildings
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Alvediston

National Grid Reference: ST 97018 21560, ST 97051 21673


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

Reasons for Designation

Cranborne Chase is an area of chalkland well known for its high number, density and diversity of archaeological remains. These include a rare combination of Neolithic and Early Bronze Age sites, comprising one of the largest concentrations of burial monuments in England, the largest known cursus (a linear ritual monument) and a significant number and range of henge monuments (Late Neolithic ceremonial centres). Other important remains include a variety of enclosures, settlements, field systems and linear boundaries which date throughout prehistory and into the Romano-British and medieval periods. This high level of survival of archaeological remains is due largely to the later history of the Chase. Cranborne Chase formed a Royal Hunting Ground from at least Norman times, and much of the archaeological survival within the area resulted from associated laws controlling land-use which applied until 1830. The unique archaeological character of the Chase has attracted much attention over the years, notably during the later 19th century, by the pioneering work on the Chase of General Pitt-Rivers, Sir Richard Colt Hoare and Edward Cunnington, often regarded as the fathers of British archaeology. Archaeological investigations have continued throughout the 20th century and to the present day. Bowl barrows, the most numerous form of round barrow, are funerary monuments dating from the Late Neolithic 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. Over 10,000 bowl barrows are known to survive nationally, of which a cluster of at least 395 examples has been identified on Cranborne Chase. Some of these have been levelled by ploughing but remain visible from the air as ring ditches. Buried remains will nevertheless survive at these sites, both within the ditch fills and associated with the central burial pit. Bowl barrows are particularly representative of their period, whilst their considerable variation of form and longevity as a monument type will provide important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape and constitute a significant component of the archaeology of Cranborne Chase. All surviving examples within this area are, therefore, considered to be of national importance.

The three bowl barrows at Trow Down 520m north west and 545m west of Bigley Buildings are a relatively well-preserved group which will contain archaeological deposits providing information relating to Bronze Age burial practices, society and the contemporary environment.


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


The monument, which falls into two separate areas of protection, includes three bowl barrows, lying just below the crest of the hill on a west-facing slope on Trow Down 1km south east of Lower Bridmore Farm. Two barrows lie within the first area of protection, aligned north east-south west. The northernmost barrow has a mound 17m in diameter and the barrow lying to its south west has a mound 12m in diameter. The third barrow is situated 110m to the south west and has a mound 17m in diameter. All three barrows survive up to 1.5m in height. The mounds are surrounded by quarry ditches from which material was excavated for their construction. These mostly survive as buried features, but are occasionally visible as surface depressions, about 2m wide. At least two of the barrows have central depressions suggesting that they have been excavated in the past, and there is a Late Bronze Age rim sherd from the group in Salisbury Museum.

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: 35385

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing