Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Hoop Side round barrows

A Scheduled Monument in Bishopstone, Wiltshire

We don't have any photos of this monument yet. Why don't you be the first to send us one?

Upload Photo »

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »

If Google Street View is available, the image is from the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the monument. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.


Latitude: 51.0622 / 51°3'43"N

Longitude: -1.9119 / 1°54'42"W

OS Eastings: 406271.899105

OS Northings: 129207.911957

OS Grid: SU062292

Mapcode National: GBR 3ZY.9FY

Mapcode Global: FRA 66W9.WGH

Entry Name: Hoop Side round barrows

Scheduled Date: 16 April 1955

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1002998

English Heritage Legacy ID: WI 390

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Bishopstone

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Barford St Martin and Burcombe

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


Three bowl barrows 1500m south east of Upper Hurdcott Farm.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 15 September 2015. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

This monument includes three closely spaced bowl barrows arranged in a linear west to east alignment and situated on the top of an extremely steeply sloping escarpment called Hoop Side overlooking the distant River Nadder. The barrows survive as circular mounds surrounded by partially buried quarry ditches from which the construction material was derived. The western barrow mound has a flat top is up to 14m in diameter and 1.3m high with clear traces of a ditch of up to 2.5m wide and 0.3m deep on its western side. The central mound is 16m in diameter and 2.3m high with a flattened top and the slightest traces of a visible ditch and the eastern barrow is 18m in diameter and 2.6m high with a pronounced central excavation hollow. All three barrows are scarped into the hillside. These barrows are mentioned in a charter of 947 AD as ‘Thri Beorgas aet there Dune’ (three barrows of the down) and one is specifically named as ‘Ottes Barrowe’ in documents from 1567.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

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. 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 importance. Despite partial early excavation or robbing the three bowl barrows 1500m south east of Upper Hurdcott Farm survive well and from documents have long held a considerable importance as a land mark, they will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to their construction, relative chronologies, territorial significance, social organisation, ritual and funerary practices and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England


PastScape 213894
Wiltshire HER SO02NE620 and SU02NE621

Source: Historic England

Other nearby scheduled monuments is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself. is a Good Stuff website.