Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Disc barrow on Fargo Road

A Scheduled Monument in Durrington, Wiltshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.1935 / 51°11'36"N

Longitude: -1.8341 / 1°50'2"W

OS Eastings: 411688.458016

OS Northings: 143826.013416

OS Grid: SU116438

Mapcode National: GBR 3YH.53W

Mapcode Global: VHB5B.587C

Entry Name: Disc barrow on Fargo Road

Scheduled Date: 24 March 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009059

English Heritage Legacy ID: 10408

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Durrington

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Durrington All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury

Details

The monument, which falls into two constraint areas, includes a disc barrow
immediately south of Fargo Road on Durrington Down. The barrow is no longer
visible on the ground but is partially represented on the Ordnance Survey
1:2500 map of 1972 from which it is seen to be oval in shape with dimensions
of c.30m east-west and c.38m north-south. Partial excavation in the 19th
century produced a large urn. The central section of the barrow has been
removed by the downcutting of Fargo Road.
The post and wire fences which cross the monument from east to west on both
sides of the road are excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath them
is included.

MAP EXTRACT
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 Bronze Age periods.
Two of the best known and earliest recognised areas are around Avebury and
Stonehenge, now jointly designated as a World Heritage Site.
The area of chalk downland which surrounds Stonehenge contains one of the
densest and most varied groups of Neolithic and Bronze Age field monuments in
Britain. Included within the area are Stonehenge itself, the Stonehenge
cursus, the Durrington Walls henge, and a variety of burial monuments, many
grouped into cemeteries.
The area has been the subject of archaeological research since the 18th
century when Stukeley recorded many of the monuments and partially excavated a
number of the burial mounds. More recently, the collection of artefacts from
the surfaces of ploughed fields has supplemented the evidence for ritual and
burial by revealing the intensity of contemporary settlement and land-use. In
view of the importance of the area, all ceremonial and sepulchral monuments of
this period which retain significant archaeological remains are identified as
nationally important.
Disc barrows, the most fragile type of round barrow, are funerary monuments of
the Early Bronze Age, with most examples dating to the period 1400-1200 BC.
They occur either in isolation or in round barrow cemeteries. Disc barrows
were constructed as a circular or oval area of level ground defined by a bank
and internal ditch and containing one or more central or eccentrically located
small, low mounds, covering burials, usually in pits. The burials, normally
cremations, are frequently accompanied by pottery vessels, tools and personal
ornaments. It has been suggested that disc barrows were normally used for the
burial of women, although this remains unproven. However, it is likely that
the individuals buried were of high status. Disc barrows are rare nationally,
with about 250 examples, many of which are in Wessex. Twenty-nine examples are
known from the Stonehenge area. Their richness in terms of grave goods
provides important evidence for chronological and cultural links amongst
prehistoric communities over a wide area of southern England, as well as
providing an insight into their beliefs and social organisation.

Despite removal of an east-west section by the downcutting of Fargo Road, the
disc barrow is known from partial excavation to contain archaeological remains
and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which
it was constructed.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 218
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 167

Source: Historic England

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