Ancient Monuments

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Bowl barrow east of the Ridgeway forming part of the Overton Hill Bronze Age round barrow cemetery.

A Scheduled Monument in Avebury, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.4154 / 51°24'55"N

Longitude: -1.8301 / 1°49'48"W

OS Eastings: 411914.317813

OS Northings: 168501.314506

OS Grid: SU119685

Mapcode National: GBR 4X4.64F

Mapcode Global: VHB45.7PC9

Entry Name: Bowl barrow east of the Ridgeway forming part of the Overton Hill Bronze Age round barrow cemetery.

Scheduled Date: 10 March 1925

Last Amended: 14 June 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008463

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21721

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Avebury

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire


The monument includes a bowl barrow set on a gentle south facing slope,
overlooking the `Sanctuary' 500m to the south. The barrow is situated
immediately east of the Ridgeway track and is the most northerly of the nine
barrows which form the Overton Hill round barrow cemetery. The barrow mound
has been clipped by cultivation but survives well as an earthwork 21.5m across
and up to 2.2m high. Surrounding the mound is a ditch from which material was
quarried during the construction of the monument. This has become infilled
over the years but survives as a buried feature c.3m wide. The site was partly
excavated by Colt Hoare in the early 1800s and was found to contain a primary
cremation and two secondary cremation burials. One of these cremations was
covered with an inverted coarse ware urn.

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 bowl barrow east of the Ridgeway is part of the nationally important
Overton Hill round barrow cemetery. Despite partial excavation in the early
1800s, the barrow survives as an impressive upstanding monument and contains
archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and
the landscape in which it was constructed.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Pugh, RB, Crittall, E, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire, (1957), 195
SU 16 NW 65, RCHM(E), Tumulus on Overton Hill, (1973)

Source: Historic England

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