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Beckhampton round barrow cemetery 150m north east of the `Waggon and Horses'

A Scheduled Monument in Avebury, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.4207 / 51°25'14"N

Longitude: -1.8688 / 1°52'7"W

OS Eastings: 409221.502077

OS Northings: 169084.423478

OS Grid: SU092690

Mapcode National: GBR 3VK.VRR

Mapcode Global: VHB44.KKF7

Entry Name: Beckhampton round barrow cemetery 150m north east of the `Waggon and Horses'

Scheduled Date: 3 May 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008221

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21751

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Avebury

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire


The monument includes a Bronze Age round barrow cemetery containing ten
individual barrows situated 150m north east of the `Waggon and Horses' public
house. The cemetery occupies the top of a small hill with views south east
towards Silbury Hill, north towards Windmill Hill and north east towards the
Avebury henge monument. Two of the barrows survive as upstanding earthworks;
eight have been levelled by cultivation but are visible as ring ditches on
aerial photographs.

Individual barrows can be described as follows:
(SU09156906) Bowl barrow situated at the western end of the cemetery. Its
mound is visible as an upstanding earthwork with a diameter of 23.5m across
and which stands up to 1.4m high. The barrow mound has seen disturbance at its
centre, the spoil from which has been thrown downhill to the south, giving a
slightly false profile to this side of the mound. A recent cutting c.1.5m
east-west, c.0.6m north-south and up to 0.5m deep is present on the south side
of the mound. Surrounding the mound, and just visible as a slight earthwork at
ground level, is a quarry ditch from which material was taken during the
construction of the monument. This will survive as a buried feature c.3m wide.

(SU09186908) Bowl barrow reduced by cultivation but which survives as a low
mound c.30m in diameter and up to 0.2m high. The barrow mound has been spread
across its surrounding quarry ditch from which material was obtained during
its construction. This ditch will survive as a c.2m wide buried feature,
beneath the edge of the mound.

(SU09196902) Ring ditch, no longer visible at ground level but which survives
as a buried feature with an overall diameter of 25m, visible on aerial
photographs. A flint flake and a flint scraper were observed on the surface of
the plough soil in 1989. The barrow had been identified as a bowl barrow in
the 1950's, before its mound was reduced to its present condition. The
remaining seven barrows survive as ring ditches, all of which are visible on
aerial photographs. They vary between 15m and 40m in diameter. Recent
geophysical survey in the areas between the barrows, has revealed post
structures which give an indication of the wider use of the monument.

Excluded from the scheduling are all fences and the carriageway of the
Beckhampton Road (A4361), although the ground beneath these features is
included where it occurs within the area of the scheduling.

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 Beckhampton round barrow cemetery forms a nationally important monument
within the Avebury landscape. Although eight of the ten barrows have been
levelled by cultivation, they survive as buried features and will contain
archaeological and environmental evidence relating to their construction and
the landscape in which the cemetery was built. In addition, the evidence of
recent geophysical survey work has identified the survival of post structures
in the areas between the barrows providing evidence of the wider use and form
of such round barrow cemeteries.

Source: Historic England


4/244 8.9.24 & 13.5.33, Allen, G.W.G., (1934)
St Joseph, J K,
SU 06 NE 76 A, RCHM(E), Avebury 19a, (1973)
SU 06 NE 76 D, RCHM(E), Soil marks, (1973)
SU 16 NW 699, CAO, Ring Ditch, (1989)
Title: Sheet 06 NE
Source Date: 1961
6" Edition
Title: Sheet SU 06 NE
Source Date: 1961
6" Edition

Source: Historic England

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