Ancient Monuments

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Risbury Hill round barrows

A Scheduled Monument in Redlynch, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 50.963 / 50°57'46"N

Longitude: -1.6484 / 1°38'54"W

OS Eastings: 424790.5642

OS Northings: 118232.0158

OS Grid: SU247182

Mapcode National: GBR 643.J33

Mapcode Global: FRA 76FK.PMX

Entry Name: Risbury Hill round barrows

Scheduled Date: 24 April 1956

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1005592

English Heritage Legacy ID: WI 429

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Redlynch

Built-Up Area: Nomansland

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Redlynch St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


Bell barrow and bowl barrow 1025m west of Lyburn Farm.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 17 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, which falls into two areas, includes a bell barrow and a bowl barrow situated on the summit and upper north east ridge of the prominent Risbury Hill on Hamptworth Common overlooking three tributaries to the River Blackwater. The bell barrow to the south west survives as a circular mound of 23m in diameter and 2m high, with a 5m wide and 0.8m high berm surrounded by a 3m wide and 0.8m deep quarry ditch. The surface has been cut by practice trenches made during the Second World War. To the north east is a bowl barrow which survives as a circular mound of up to 18m in diameter and 0.6m high surrounded by a buried quarry ditch from which the construction material was derived.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Bell barrows, the most visually impressive form of round barrow, are funerary monuments dating to the Early and Middle Bronze Age, with most examples belonging to the period 1500-1100 BC. They occur either in isolation or in round barrow cemeteries and were constructed as single or multiple mounds covering burials, often in pits, and surrounded by an enclosure ditch. The burials are frequently accompanied by weapons, personal ornaments and pottery and appear to be those of aristocratic individuals, usually men. Bell barrows (particularly multiple barrows) are rare nationally, with less than 250 known examples, most of which are in Wessex. Their richness in terms of grave goods provides evidence for chronological and cultural links amongst early prehistoric communities over most of southern and eastern England as well as providing an insight into their beliefs and social organisation. As a particularly rare form of round barrow, all identified bell barrows are important. Bowl barrows are the most numerous form of round barrow, 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. 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. Despite tree growth and some later interference the bell barrow and bowl barrow 1025m west of Lyburn Farm survive well and 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 222660 and 222657, Wiltshire HER SU21NW608 and SU21 NW607

Source: Historic England

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