Ancient Monuments

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Round barrow forming part of the Fox Covert round barrow cemetery on West Down

A Scheduled Monument in Bishops Cannings, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.4164 / 51°24'58"N

Longitude: -1.8929 / 1°53'34"W

OS Eastings: 407544.5538

OS Northings: 168598.48207

OS Grid: SU075685

Mapcode National: GBR 3VQ.28H

Mapcode Global: VHB44.4NNL

Entry Name: Round barrow forming part of the Fox Covert round barrow cemetery on West Down

Scheduled Date: 4 February 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008285

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21753

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Bishops Cannings

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire


The monument includes a round barrow which forms part of the Fox Covert round barrow cemetery on West Down.The barrow has been levelled by cultivation and is no longer visible at ground level.However,it survives within and buried beneath the modern ploughsoil as a circular chalk spread with a diameter of seventeen metres,visible on aerial photographs.This spread represents the remains of the mound which was originally twelve metres across and which now covers the surrounding quarry ditch,from which material was obtained for the monument's construction.The ditch survives below the spread with a width of c.2.5m.MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.It includes a two 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 thirty 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.Despite having been reduced by cultivation, this barrow survives as a buried feature forming an integral part of a nationally important Bronze Age round barrow cemetery,and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction and the landscape in which it was built.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Colt Hoare, R, History of Ancient Wiltshire: Volume II, (1821)
Grinsell, L V, 'A History Of Wiltshire' in A History Of Wiltshire, , Vol. 1 pt 1, (1885)
SU 06 NE 58, RCHME, (1973)
Title: Barrows On West Down
Source Date: 1956
6 inch hand annotated
Title: Circular Spread Of Chalk & Round Barrow Shown On Hoare's Map
Source Date: 1989
SU06NE644 & 645

Source: Historic England

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