Ancient Monuments

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Bell barrow south-west of Heath Hanger: part of Waltham Down round barrow cemetery

A Scheduled Monument in Upwaltham, West Sussex

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Latitude: 50.9213 / 50°55'16"N

Longitude: -0.6779 / 0°40'40"W

OS Eastings: 493024.608014

OS Northings: 114366.28428

OS Grid: SU930143

Mapcode National: GBR FH8.3G2

Mapcode Global: FRA 96GN.XBX

Entry Name: Bell barrow south-west of Heath Hanger: part of Waltham Down round barrow cemetery

Scheduled Date: 26 May 1961

Last Amended: 23 November 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008762

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20092

County: West Sussex

Civil Parish: Upwaltham

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Sussex

Church of England Parish: Upwaltham St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: Chichester


The monument includes a bell barrow situated on the crest of a ridge of chalk
downland. It comprises a mound 30m in diameter and 2.7m high with a large
central hollow, indicating that the barrow was once partially excavated.
Around the mound is a gently sloping platform, or berm, only traces of which
remain visible, the majority of it having been buried by spoil from the
central excavation. Enclosing this is a ditch from which material was
quarried during the construction of the monument; it now survives as a slight
earthwork 4m wide and 0.5m deep. Beyond the ditch are the remains of a very
spread outer bank c.4m wide and 0.1m high.

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

Round barrow cemeteries date to the Bronze Age (c.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, occasionally associated with earlier
long barrows. Where large scale investigation has been undertaken around them,
contemporary or later "flat" burials between the barrow mounds have often been
revealed. Round barrow cemeteries occur across most of lowland Britain, with a
marked concentration in Wessex. In some cases, they are clustered around other
important contemporary monuments such as henges. Often occupying prominent
locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape, whilst
their diversity and their longevity as a monument type provide important
information on the variety of beliefs and social organisation amongst early
prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period
and a substantial proportion of surviving or partly-surviving examples are
considered worthy of protection.

Bell barrows, an example of which occurs within the Waltham Down cemetery, are
a particularly rare form of round barrow, the majority of the 250 known
examples occurring in Wessex. The burials within bell barrows are frequently
accompanied by weapons, personal ornaments and pottery and appear to be those
of aristocratic individuals, usually men. Their richness in terms of grave
goods provides evidence for chronological and cultural links amongst early
Prehistoric communities over most of southern England. The survival of bell
and bowl barrows within a single cemetery, combined with the wider
distribution of barrows within the area, gives a valuable insight into the
nature and scale of human occupation in the region during the Bronze Age.
Despite partial excavation, the bell barrow south-west of Heath Hanger
survives comparatively well and has potential for the recovery of
archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and
the landscape in which it was constructed.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, 'Sussex Archaeological Collections' in Sussex Barrows, , Vol. 75, (1934)
Ordnance Survey, SU 91 SW 2A, (1970)

Source: Historic England

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