Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Bell barrow on Shalcombe Down: 500m south west of Shalcombe Manor

A Scheduled Monument in Calbourne, Isle of Wight

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Latitude: 50.6674 / 50°40'2"N

Longitude: -1.4492 / 1°26'57"W

OS Eastings: 439021.65706

OS Northings: 85452.888967

OS Grid: SZ390854

Mapcode National: GBR 79D.0FK

Mapcode Global: FRA 77V9.WRC

Entry Name: Bell barrow on Shalcombe Down: 500m south west of Shalcombe Manor

Scheduled Date: 20 August 1934

Last Amended: 11 July 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007795

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21974

County: Isle of Wight

Civil Parish: Calbourne

Traditional County: Hampshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Isle of Wight

Church of England Parish: Shalfleet St Michael the Archangel

Church of England Diocese: Portsmouth


The monument includes a bell barrow lying in a prominent postion on downland
behind Compton Bay.
The barrow mound measures 24m north-south by 26m east-west and is 3m high.
Beyond the mound is a berm 5m wide and an outer ditch from which material was
quarried during its construction. This has become partially infilled over the
years but can still be seen as a depression varying between 0.7m and 1.5m deep
and 7m wide.
The barrow was opened by J Dennett in 1816 who found bronze weapons and a
brooch and either bone or ivory ornaments. Evidence for this excavation
survives in the form of a deep trench visible in the centre of the mound.

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

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 would
normally be considered to be of national importance.

Despite partial excavation, the bell barrow on Shalcombe Down will contain
archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and
the landscape in which it was constructed. This barrow is one of a number
which survive on downland on the Isle of Wight.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
'Proceedings of the I.O.W. Nat History and Archaeological Soc' in Proceedings of the I.O.W. Nat History and Archaeological Society, , Vol. vol 3, (1940), 201,219
Skinner, Rev J, 'The I.O.W. Natural History And Archaeological Soc' in Proceedings of the I.O.W. Natural History and Archaeological Soc, , Vol. vol 3, (1940), 105,106
Site No 124, Motkin, D., Isle of Wight SMR, (1983)

Source: Historic England

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