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Group of five round barrows north-east of the Sanctuary: part of the Overton Hill round barrow cemetery.

A Scheduled Monument in East Kennett, Wiltshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.4123 / 51°24'44"N

Longitude: -1.8292 / 1°49'45"W

OS Eastings: 411973.357163

OS Northings: 168158.483989

OS Grid: SU119681

Mapcode National: GBR 4X4.DC0

Mapcode Global: VHB45.7RTP

Entry Name: Group of five round barrows north-east of the Sanctuary: part of the Overton Hill round barrow cemetery.

Scheduled Date: 10 March 1925

Last Amended: 14 June 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008464

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21719

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: East Kennett

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Details

The monument includes five Bronze Age round barrows which form part of a
larger group located along the Ridgeway on Overton Hill immediately north of
`The Sanctuary'. The barrows, from north-east - south-west, can be described
as follows:

(SU11926810) A well preserved bell barrow, the mound of which measures 18m
across and stands up to 2.9m high. Surrounding the mound is a level berm or
platform 3m wide and an outer ditch c.3m wide from which material was quarried
during the construction of the monument. This is not visible at ground level,
having become infilled over the years, but survives as a buried feature.
The barrow was partially excavated by Colt Hoare in the early 1800s and the
finds included a primary cremation burial accompanied by a fragment of a
small, decorated coarse pottery urn.

(SU11956812) A bell barrow with a mound which measures 25m in diameter and
stands up to 3.4m high. Surrounding the mound is a 3m wide berm and a quarry
ditch which survives as a buried feature c.3m wide. This barrow has been
partially excavated and contained a primary cremation burial.

(SU11966814) Located between two of the bell barrows, and partly overlying
their berms and ditches, is a bowl barrow 12m in diameter and 1.2m high. The
barrow may have had its own ditch but, if so, this has become integrated into
the ditches of the bell barrows. This barrow was partially excavated by
Thurnham and contained a primary cremation burial accompanied by a bone pin.

(SU11966816) A bell barrow 29m across and up to 3.19m high. Surrounding the
mound is a 3m wide berm and a ditch which is mainly buried but which can be
seen as a slight earthwork to the west. This ditch is c.3m wide and partly
overlain by a bowl barrow. Colt Hoare partially excavated this barrow and
found a primary cremation burial accompanied by a bronze dagger and a piece of
bone. A secondary cremation had been placed 0.6m below the top of the barrow
in an upright urn, covered with sarsen stones.

(SU12056820) A bowl barrow 25m across and c.3m high. The barrow is surrounded
by a ditch which has been reduced by cultivation but which survives as a
buried feature c.3m wide. Colt Hoare found a primary cremation in this barrow.
The barrows are five of the seven (the other two being south of the Bath Road)
which gave the area its Saxon charter name of `Seofon beorgas' (Seven
barrows).

MAP EXTRACT
The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

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 group of five barrows on Overton Hill survives well as an outstanding and
prominent example of its class. The barrows will contain archaeological and
environmental remains relating to both the cemetery and the Avebury landscape
in which it developed.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
SU 16 NW 15C, Royal Commission on Historical Monuments of England, West Overton 2 Bell Barrow, (1973)
SU 16 NW 15D, Royal Commission on Historical Monuments of England, West Overton 3 Bell Barrow, (1973)
SU 16 NW 15E, Royal Commission on Historical Monuments of England, West Overton 3a, (1973)
SU 16 NW 15F, Royal Commission on Historical Monuments of England, West Overton 4 Bell Barrow, (1973)
SU 16 NW 15G, Royal Commission on Historical Monuments of England, West Overton 5 Bowl Barrow, (1973)
SU16NW659, CAO, BELL BARROW SEVEN BARROW HILL, (1989)
SU16NW660, CAO, Sevenbarrow Hill Bell Barrow, (1989)
SU16NW661, CAO, Sevenbarrow Hill Round Barrow (SU16NW661), (1989)
SU16NW662, CAO, Sevenbarrow Hill Bell Barrow (SU16NW662), (1989)
SU16NW663, CAO, Sevenbarrow Hill Bowl Barrow (SU16NW663), (1989)

Source: Historic England

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