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Two disc barrows and a bell barrow, 400m east of the Pennings, Earl's Farm Down

A Scheduled Monument in Amesbury, Wiltshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.1754 / 51°10'31"N

Longitude: -1.7468 / 1°44'48"W

OS Eastings: 417797.257776

OS Northings: 141829.141634

OS Grid: SU177418

Mapcode National: GBR 504.95R

Mapcode Global: VHB5C.NQX8

Entry Name: Two disc barrows and a bell barrow, 400m east of the Pennings, Earl's Farm Down

Scheduled Date: 25 February 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009566

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12200

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

Details

The monument includes two disc barrows and a bell barrow set below the
crest of a gentle south-facing slope in an area of undulating chalk
downland. The bell barrow lies in a broadly central position between
the two disc barrows. The barrow mound is 36m in diameter and stands to
a height of c.5m. Surrounding the mound is a berm which varies in width
between 7 and 14m and a ditch 6m wide and 0.2m deep. Evidence for
previous excavation is visible both on the south-west side of the mound
and on top of the monument. Immediately to the north of the bell barrow
is a disc barrow. This comprises a level platform 45m across and a
central mound 12m in diameter and 0.4m high. Surrounding the platform
is a ditch 5m across and 0.2m deep and an outer bank 6m across and 0.3m
high. Approximately 60m south-west of the northern disc barrow is a
second example, comprising a level platform 50m across and a central
mound 12m across and 0.4m high. Surrounding the platform is a ditch 4m
wide and 0.4m deep, and an outer bank 8m across and 0.5m high.

MAP EXTRACT
The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

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 barrow
cemeteries (closely-spaced groups of round barrows). 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 centrally 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
known examples most of which are in Wessex. 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. As a particularly rare form of round barrow, all
identified disc barrows would normally be considered to be of national
importance.

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 barrows survive particularly well and, as there is little
evidence of formal excavation on the site, have considerable
archaeological potential. The importance of the monument is further
enhanced by its incorporation within a barrow cemetery. Such cemeteries
provide information on the variety of beliefs and social organisation
in the Bronze Age.

Source: Historic England

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