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Long barrow and part of a round barrow cemetery 130m SSE of Freshwater Bay Golf Clubhouse, on Afton Down

A Scheduled Monument in Freshwater, Isle of Wight

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.6703 / 50°40'13"N

Longitude: -1.5027 / 1°30'9"W

OS Eastings: 435235.820212

OS Northings: 85743.874508

OS Grid: SZ352857

Mapcode National: GBR 793.YP9

Mapcode Global: FRA 77R9.DF4

Entry Name: Long barrow and part of a round barrow cemetery 130m SSE of Freshwater Bay Golf Clubhouse, on Afton Down

Scheduled Date: 23 July 1934

Last Amended: 11 July 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007789

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21996

County: Isle of Wight

Civil Parish: Freshwater

Traditional County: Hampshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Isle of Wight

Church of England Parish: Freshwater All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Portsmouth

Details

The monument includes a long barrow and part of a round barrow cemetery
comprising one disc barrow, one bell barrow and seven bowl barrows. This part
of the barrow cemetery lies on the coast on a west facing slope which
continues down to a cove on the south western part of the Isle of Wight. At
the top end of the slope there are views to the Solent and beyond.

The long barrow and disc barrow lie towards the west end of the group and the
bell barrow lies in the centre of the group. The long barrow has a mound which
measures 38m long and 10.5m wide. It stands to a height of 1.2m. Along each
side of the long axis of the barrow are side ditches from which material was
quarried during its construction. The southern ditch can no longer be seen at
ground level but survives as a buried feature; the northern ditch is visible as
a slight earthwork 6m wide.

The disc barrow has a central mound 10m in diameter and 0.5m high. Beyond this
is a berm 4m wide and around this is a ditch 4m wide and 0.75m deep.
Surrounding the ditch is an outer bank 5m wide and 0.5m high.

The bell barrow has a mound which measures 12.5m east-west and 10m north-south
and is 1.2m high. Beyond the mound is a berm 3m wide surrounded by a ditch
7.5m wide and c.1m deep.

Around and between these three barrows are seven bowl barrows. These
barrows have mounds which vary in diameter from 8.5m to 19m and are from 0.5m
to 2m high. Surrounding each bowl barrow mound is a ditch from which material
was quarried during its construction. Many of these ditches have become
infilled over the years, but survive as buried features up to 3m wide. Some of
the ditches have become partly infilled over the years and survive as
depressions up to 4m wide and 0.1m deep.

Almost all the barrows are disturbed and a number were opened in 1817 by the
Rev J Skinner. In two of the bowl barrows he found cremations in urns.
The wooden steps and gravel risers associated with the golf course are
excluded from the scheduling, but the ground around and beneath them is
included. The wooden notice boards and signs are excluded from the scheduling,
but the ground beneath is included.

The MOD observation post comprising concrete bunker and metal pipes set
into one of the barrows is excluded from the scheduling, but the ground
beneath it 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.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Long barrows were constructed as earthen or drystone mounds with flanking
ditches and acted as funerary monuments during the Early and Middle Neolithic
periods (3400-2400 BC). They represent the burial places of Britain's early
farming communities and, as such, are amongst the oldest field monuments
surviving visibly in the present landscape. Where investigated, long barrows
appear to have been used for communal burial, often with only parts of the
human remains having been selected for interment. Certain sites provide
evidence for several phases of funerary monument preceding the barrow and,
consequently, it is probable that long barrows acted as important ritual sites
for local communities over a considerable period of time. Some 500 long
barrows are recorded in England. As one of the few types of Neolithic
structure to survive as earthworks, and due to their comparative rarity, their
considerable age and their longevity as a monument type, all long barrows are
considered to be nationally important.


Despite disturbance caused during landscaping of the golf course, the long
barrow on Afton Down is one of only three long barrows known on the
Isle of Wight. In the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC), this barrow acted as the
focus for a round barrow cemetery. Round barrow cemeteries are 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.

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.

Despite the fact that the majority of the barrows are disturbed and four of
the ten have been partially excavated, the long barrow and round barrow
cemetery on Afton Down have survived well and will contain archaeological
remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape
in which it was constructed. This barrow cemetery is one of two which survive
on this part of the coast of the south western side of the Isle of Wight, and
is the only one on the island to have developed around an earlier long barrow.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Basford, H V, The Vectis Report: A Survey of Isle of Wight Archaeology, (1980), 108
'Proceeding of the I.O.W. Nat History and Archaeological Soc' in Proceedings of the I.O.W. Nat History and Archaeological Society, , Vol. 1, (1929), 656
'Proceeding of the I.O.W. Nat History and Archaeological Soc' in Proceedings of the I.O.W. Nat History and Archaeological Society, , Vol. 1, (1929), 656
'Proceeding of the I.O.W. Nat History and Archaeological Soc' in Proceedings of the I.O.W. Nat History and Archaeological Society, , Vol. 1, (1929), 656
'Proceedings of the I.O.W. Nat History and Archaeological Soc' in Proceedings of the I.O.W. Nat History and Archaeological Society, , Vol. 3, (1940), 196-7
'Proceedings of the I.O.W. Nat History and Archaeological Soc' in Proceedings of the I.O.W. Nat History and Archaeological Society, , Vol. 3, (1940), 195-7
'Proceedings of the I.O.W. Nat History and Archaeological Soc' in Proceedings of the I.O.W. Nat History and Archaeological Society, , Vol. 3, (1940), 195-7
'Proceedings of the I.O.W. Nat History and Archaeological Soc' in Proceedings of the I.O.W. Nat History and Archaeological Society, , Vol. 3, (1940), 195-7
'Proceedings of the I.O.W. Nat History and Archaeological Soc' in Proceedings of the I.O.W. Nat History and Archaeological Society, , Vol. 3, (1940), 195-7
'Proceedings of the I.O.W. Nat History and Archaeological Soc' in Proceedings of the I.O.W. Nat History and Archaeological Society, , Vol. 3, (1940), 195-7
'Proceedings of the I.O.W. Nat History and Archaeological Soc' in Proceedings of the I.O.W. Nat History and Archaeological Society, , Vol. 3, (1940), 180-197
'Proceedings of the I.O.W. Nat History and Archaeological Soc' in Proceedings of the I.O.W. Nat History and Archaeological Society, , Vol. 3, (1940), 195-7
Other
Title: O.S. card 38 NE 14
Source Date:
Author:
Publisher:
Surveyor:

Source: Historic England

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