Ancient Monuments

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Bell barrow 800m east of New Barn, Earl's Farm Down

A Scheduled Monument in Amesbury, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.1805 / 51°10'49"N

Longitude: -1.7438 / 1°44'37"W

OS Eastings: 418004.973772

OS Northings: 142397.06955

OS Grid: SU180423

Mapcode National: GBR 4ZY.XLW

Mapcode Global: VHB5C.QLHC

Entry Name: Bell barrow 800m east of New Barn, Earl's Farm Down

Scheduled Date: 3 March 1960

Last Amended: 25 February 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009563

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12196

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 large bell barrow set below the crest of a gentle
south-facing slope in an area of undulating chalk downland. The barrow mound
is 34m in diameter and c.4m high. A berm, ditch and outer bank surround the
mound. The berm and ditch are no longer visible at ground level but survive as
buried features to a combined width of c.6m. The outer bank survives to a
width of 7m and is 0.3m 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

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.

The Earl's Farm Down bell barrow survives particularly 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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