Ancient Monuments

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Two bowl barrows and a ring ditch 250m north east of Thorn Down: part of the group known as Seven Barrows

A Scheduled Monument in Litchfield and Woodcott, Hampshire

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Latitude: 51.2961 / 51°17'45"N

Longitude: -1.338 / 1°20'16"W

OS Eastings: 446255.049418

OS Northings: 155426.572914

OS Grid: SU462554

Mapcode National: GBR 833.QK0

Mapcode Global: VHCZX.RPJ8

Entry Name: Two bowl barrows and a ring ditch 250m north east of Thorn Down: part of the group known as Seven Barrows

Scheduled Date: 30 November 1925

Last Amended: 14 April 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008034

English Heritage Legacy ID: 24315

County: Hampshire

Civil Parish: Litchfield and Woodcott

Traditional County: Hampshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hampshire

Church of England Parish: Highclere St Michael and All Angels

Church of England Diocese: Winchester


The monument includes two bowl barrows and a ring ditch, representing a
ploughed-down barrow, in a linear cemetery of ten Bronze Age round barrows
situated along the floor of a dry valley between Thorn Down and Great
Litchfield Down. Seven of the barrows remain as upstanding monuments.
The larger, southern barrow mound is 34m in diameter and 3m high. At the
northern side of the mound is a 14m long depression which marks part of the
ditch from which material was quarried during the construction of the
monument. The rest of the ditch has become completely infilled over the years
but survives as a buried feature 5m wide.
The northern barrow mound is 26m in diameter and 2m high. The quarry ditch
around this barrow has also become infilled but survives as a buried feature
4m wide. The eastern edges of both barrows and the associated eastern ditch
sections have been damaged by the widening of the A34 road.
The ring ditch, known from aerial photographs, is visible as soil marks 44m in
overall diameter which represent a probable disc barrow. The upstanding barrow
mound and encircling bank, which were built with material quarried from the
ditch, have been ploughed down, although the Bronze Age ground surface and any
features cut into it, such as burial pits, will survive beneath the level of
modern disturbance. Similarly, the ditch has become infilled over the years,
but this too will survive as a buried feature.
Irregularities in the surface of the southern barrow mound are evidence of
partial excavation of the barrow carried out in the 19th and early 20th
centuries. No obvious signs of disturbance are visible on the northern barrow,
although it, and the barrow represented by the ring ditch, were also partially
excavated in the 19th century. Both cremation and inhumation burials were
found, but the excavation records are such that it is not possible to assign
individual burials to any particular barrow.
Excluded from the scheduling are the roadside fence and fence posts, but the
ground beneath them is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

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
and a substantial proportion of surviving or partly-surviving examples are
considered worthy of protection.

The two bowl barrows in the Thorn Down barrow cemetery are well preserved and
are good examples of their class. Despite partial excavation, the barrows and
ring ditch will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to
their construction and an understanding of the cemetery of which they are
a part.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club' in Hampshire Barrows, , Vol. 14(3), (1940), 347
Money, W, 'Proc Soc Antiq' in Note: Seven Barrows, , Vol. 10(2), (1883), 18-19
Woolley, L, 'Man' in Excavations on Beacon Hill, Hampshire, , Vol. 13, (1913), 9-10
Carnarvon, Earl of , Unpublished transcript of letter, 1800,
Carnarvon, Earl of , Unpublished transcript of letter, 1800,
SU 45NE 52J, (1983)

Source: Historic England

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