Ancient Monuments

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Round barrow cemetery 400m south of Avebury henge monument on Waden Hill

A Scheduled Monument in Avebury, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.4228 / 51°25'22"N

Longitude: -1.8527 / 1°51'9"W

OS Eastings: 410339.229677

OS Northings: 169318.154698

OS Grid: SU103693

Mapcode National: GBR 3VL.LG2

Mapcode Global: VHB44.THXN

Entry Name: Round barrow cemetery 400m south of Avebury henge monument on Waden Hill

Scheduled Date: 12 January 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008216

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21750

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Avebury

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire


The monument includes a round barrow cemetery containing nine individual
barrows, situated 400m south of Avebury henge monument on Waden Hill. The
cemetery occupies the crest of Waden Hill and the upper east-facing slope
which overlooks the Avenue linking the Avebury henge and the Sanctuary.
One of the nine barrows is a bowl barrow and survives as an upstanding
earthwork; it has a mound 16m in diameter and 0.3m high. Surrounding the
mound, but no longer visible at ground level, is a quarry ditch from which
material was obtained during the construction of the monument. This has been
infilled by cultivation but survives as a buried feature c.3m wide.
The remaining eight barrows have been levelled over the years and are no
longer visible at ground level. Buried features will survive, however, and
these levelled barrows, known as ring ditches, are visible on aerial
photographs and vary between 15m and 34m in diameter.
Excluded from the scheduling are the boundary fences running across the site,
although the ground beneath these features is included.

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

A small number of areas in southern England appear to have acted as foci for
ceremonial and ritual activity during the Neolithic and Early Bronze Age
periods. Two of the best known and earliest recognised, with references in the
17th century, are around Avebury and Stonehenge, now jointly designated as a
World Heritage Site. In the Avebury area, the henge monument itself, the West
Kennet Avenue, the Sanctuary, West Kennet long barrow, Windmill Hill
causewayed enclosure and the enigmatic Silbury Hill are well-known. Whilst the
other Neolithic long barrows, the many Bronze Age round barrows and other
associated sites are less well-known, together they define one of the richest
and most varied areas of Neolithic and Bronze Age ceremonial and ritual
monuments in the country. Round barrow cemeteries date to the Bronze Age
(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 and occasionally associated
with earlier long barrows. Where investigation beyond the round barrows has
occurred, contemporary or later `flat' burials between the barrow mounds have
often been revealed. Round barrow cemeteries occur across most of lowland
England with a marked concentration in Wessex. In some cases they are
clustered around other important contemporary monuments, as is the case both
here and at Stonehenge. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major
historic element in the modern landscape, while their diversity and their
longevity as a monument type provide important information on the variety of
beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. All
examples are considered worthy of protection.

The monument forms a nationally important round barrow cemetery, situated in a
central part of the Avebury prehistoric landscape. Despite having been largely
levelled by cultivation, the base of the barrow mounds and surrounding quarry
ditches will survive as buried features and will contain archaeological and
environmental evidence relating to the construction of the cemetery and the
landscape in which it was built.

Source: Historic England


St Joseph, J K,
SU 06 NE 142, RCHM(E), Bowl barrow, (1973)
SU 16 NW 25 B, RCHM(E), Concentric Ring ditches, (1975)
SU 16 NW 27 C, RCHM(E), Ring Ditch, (1978)
SU 16 NW 699, CAO, Ring Ditch, (1989)
SU06NE651, CAO, Bowl barrow, (1983)
Title: Sheet 16 NW
Source Date: 1961
6" Edition
Title: Sheet SU 16 NW
Source Date: 1961
6" Edition

Source: Historic England

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