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Round barrow cemetery 250m south of Wilton Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Pelynt, Cornwall

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.362 / 50°21'43"N

Longitude: -4.5317 / 4°31'54"W

OS Eastings: 220028.708335

OS Northings: 54411.346706

OS Grid: SX200544

Mapcode National: GBR NB.VKT5

Mapcode Global: FRA 18D2.NCZ

Entry Name: Round barrow cemetery 250m south of Wilton Farm

Scheduled Date: 13 April 1955

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1004465

English Heritage Legacy ID: CO 409

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Pelynt

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Pelynt

Church of England Diocese: Truro

Details

The monument includes a round barrow cemetery, situated on a prominent ridge overlooking the valley of an unnamed river leading to Polperro, at its confluence with a small tributary. The barrow cemetery includes ten closely clustered bowl barrows which survive as circular or slightly oval mounds which vary in diameter from 22m up to 35m and in height from 0.4m up to 1.4m. The surrounding quarry ditches, from which material to construct the mounds was derived, are preserved as buried features. The cemetery is known by the local name 'Mountain Borrows'. In 1834 ploughing revealed stone, bone fragments and a spearhead. Local enthusiasts then dug exploratory trenches into four of the barrows in around 1840, finding numerous bone fragments, ashes and a couple of implements. In 1845 further excavation revealed evidence for burning, fragments of an urn of Bronze Age date, a small flint and a cist.

Sources: HER:-
PastScape Monument No:-434898

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

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. Despite early partial excavation and the reduction in the heights of the barrows through cultivation, the round barrow cemetery 250m south of Wilton Farm survives comparatively well contains an important grouping of bowl barrows which will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the construction of the barrows, their longevity, changes in funerary and ritual practices, the development of the cemetery, its territorial significance, the social organisation of the builders, the relative chronology of the barrows and their overall landscape context

Source: Historic England

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