Ancient Monuments

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West Kennet bell barrow, 160m north-west of West Kennet long barrow

A Scheduled Monument in Avebury, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.4098 / 51°24'35"N

Longitude: -1.8538 / 1°51'13"W

OS Eastings: 410260.920348

OS Northings: 167870.191686

OS Grid: SU102678

Mapcode National: GBR 3VS.D5B

Mapcode Global: VHB44.TT9N

Entry Name: West Kennet bell barrow, 160m north-west of West Kennet long barrow

Scheduled Date: 4 June 1957

Last Amended: 13 May 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008465

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21718

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Avebury

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire


The monument includes a bell barrow, located on the edge of a north facing
slope, overlooking the River Kennet and the Neolithic monumental mound of
Silbury Hill. The barrow mound has been reduced by cultivation and excavation
but survives as an earthwork 18m across and up to 0.4m high. Surrounding the
mound, but no longer visible at ground level, is a berm or platform c.2m wide
and an outer quarry ditch from which material was taken during the
construction of the mound. This survives as a buried feature c.2m wide.
The barrow was excavated in 1964 by Smith and finds included a disturbed
primary cremation burial, a bronze awl, an incense cup and a sherd of a
collared urn. The excavation also discovered evidence of earlier pits
containing fragments of pottery and human remains preserved beneath the burial

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. Bell barrows, the most visually impressive form of
round barrow, are funerary monuments dating to the Early and Middle Bronze
Age, with most examples belonging to the period 1600-1300 BC. They occur
either in isolation or in round barrow cemeteries and were constructed as
single or multiple mounds covering burials, often in pits, and surrounded by
an enclosure ditch. The burials are frequently accompanied by weapons,
personal ornaments and pottery and appear to be those of aristocratic
individuals, usually men. Bell barrows are rare nationally, with less than 250
known examples, most of which are in Wessex. All examples are considered
worthy of protection.

Despite partial excavation and disturbance caused by cultivation, the bell
barrow 160m north-west of West Kennet long barrow survives as a slight
earthwork with buried features which contain archaeologial remains and
environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it
was constructed.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Smith, I F, 'Wilts. Arch. and Natural History Society Magazine 1965' in West Kennet Round Barrow, , Vol. 60, (1965), 24-46
SU 16 NW 60, RCHM(E), Avebury 55, (1973)

Source: Historic England

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