Ancient Monuments

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Ring ditch 250m NNE of Thorn Down: part of the group known as Seven Barrows

A Scheduled Monument in Litchfield and Woodcott, Hampshire

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Latitude: 51.2963 / 51°17'46"N

Longitude: -1.3394 / 1°20'21"W

OS Eastings: 446153.689905

OS Northings: 155447.426143

OS Grid: SU461554

Mapcode National: GBR 833.Q5Y

Mapcode Global: VHCZX.QPR4

Entry Name: Ring ditch 250m NNE of Thorn Down: part of the group known as Seven Barrows

Scheduled Date: 13 April 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008036

English Heritage Legacy ID: 24317

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 a ring ditch, part of a linear cemetery of ten Bronze
Age round barrows, seven of which are upstanding, situated along the floor of
a dry valley between Thorn Down and Great Litchfield Down.
The ring ditch, known from aerial photographs, is visible as soil marks 26m in
overall diameter, representing the encircling quarry ditch of a bowl barrow.
The barrow mound, which was built with material quarried from the ditch, has
been ploughed down but the Bronze Age ground surface, as well as any features
cut into it, such as burial pits, will survive. Similarly, the ditch has
become infilled over the years, but will survive as a buried feature.
Partial excavation of the barrow was probably undertaken, along with that of
others in the cemetery, 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.

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

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 ring ditch, the infilled quarry ditch of a barrow, forms part of the Thorn
Down barrow cemetery. Despite the loss of the barrow mound, the ditch, and the
area within it, it will contain archaeological and environmental evidence
relating to the construction and use of the barrow and an understanding of the
cemetery of which it is part.

Source: Historic England


Carnarvon, Earl of , Unpublished transcript of letter, 1800,
SU 45NE 52, (1967)

Source: Historic England

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