Ancient Monuments

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Bell barrow 650m east of the Pennings, Earl's Farm Down

A Scheduled Monument in Amesbury, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.1761 / 51°10'33"N

Longitude: -1.7434 / 1°44'36"W

OS Eastings: 418032.686362

OS Northings: 141903.858218

OS Grid: SU180419

Mapcode National: GBR 504.B13

Mapcode Global: VHB5C.QPPS

Entry Name: Bell barrow 650m east of the Pennings, Earl's Farm Down

Scheduled Date: 25 February 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009560

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12201

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Amesbury

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Amesbury St Mary and St Melor

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes a bell barrow set below the crest of a gentle south-
facing slope in an area of undulating chalk downland. The barrow mound is 22m
in diameter and stands to a height of 1m. Surrounding the barrow mound but no
longer visible at ground level, are a ditch and berm surviving as buried
features to a combined width of c.15m. An outer bank 4m wide and 0.2m high is
visible as a low earthwork.

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

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 [,particularly multiple
barrows,] are rare nationally, with less than 250 known examples most
of which are in Wessex. Their richness in terms of grave goods provides
evidence for chronological and cultural links amongst early prehistoric
communities over most of southern and eastern England as well as
providing an insight into their beliefs and social organisation. As a
particularly rare form of round barrow, all identified bell barrows
would normally be considered to be of national importance.

Despite limited damage due to cultivation, the Earl's Farm Down bell
barrow survives well and, as there is no evidence of formal excavation
on the site, has considerable archaeological potential. The importance
of the site is further enhanced by its incorporation within a barrow
cemetery. Such cemeteries provide valuable information on the variety
of beliefs and social organisation amongst Bronze Age communities.
Individual barrows within such cemeteries are central to their
interpretation and therefore of considerable importance.

Source: Historic England

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