Ancient Monuments

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Bowl barrow forming part of the Normanton Down round barrow cemetery

A Scheduled Monument in Wilsford cum Lake, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.1693 / 51°10'9"N

Longitude: -1.8221 / 1°49'19"W

OS Eastings: 412534.32893

OS Northings: 141134.669752

OS Grid: SU125411

Mapcode National: GBR 501.N4M

Mapcode Global: VHB5B.CVLZ

Entry Name: Bowl barrow forming part of the Normanton Down round barrow cemetery

Scheduled Date: 17 March 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009616

English Heritage Legacy ID: 10472

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Wilsford cum Lake

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Woodford Valley with Archers Gate

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes a levelled bowl barrow forming an outlier 60m east of
the core of the Normanton Down round barrow cemetery. The location has
extensive views to the south across Wilsford Down, and to the north across
Stonehenge and the Cursus. The Normanton Down round barrow cemetery consists
of 28 round barrows in all, including 17 bowl barrows, seven disc barrows,
three bell barrows and a saucer barrow. Near the centre of the cemetery is a
Neolithic long barrow.
The barrow mound is no longer visible, but is represented on a 19th century
plan, from which it is calculated to be c.20m in diameter. It is surrounded by
a ditch from which material was quarried during its construction. This has
become infilled over the years but survives as a buried feature c.2m wide
giving the barrow an overall diameter of c.24m. Partial excavation in the 19th
century revealed that the barrow had been opened previously.
All fence posts are excluded from the scheduling, but the ground beneath these
features is included.
Due to factors of scale in mapping the map extract may seem to imply that
sites SM10472 and SM10440 adjoin, but they are in fact separate on the ground.

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.
Round barrow cemeteries date to the Bronze Age (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 and occasionally associated with
earlier long barrows. Where investigation beyond the round barrows has
occurred, contemporary or later 'flat' burials between the barrow mounds have
often been revealed. Round barrow cemeteries occur across most of lowland
England with a marked concentration in Wessex. In some cases they are
clustered around other important contemporary monuments, as is the case both
here and at Avebury. Often occupying prominent positions, they are a major
historic element in the modern landscape, while their diversity and their
longevity as a monument type provide important information on the variety of
beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities.

Bowl barrows, the most numerous form of round barrow, are funerary monuments
dating from the Late Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age. They were
constructed as earthen or rubble mounds, normally ditched, which covered
single or multiple burials. Often superficially similar, although differing
widely in size, they exhibit regional variations in form and a variety of
burial practices. The burials, either inhumations or cremations, are
sometimes accompanied by pottery vessels, tools and personal ornaments. There
are over 10,000 surviving bowl barrows recorded nationally and at least 320 in
the Stonehenge area.
Despite having been levelled by cultivation and partially excavated, the bowl
barrow forming an outlier to the east of the Normanton Down round barrow
cemetery, is an integral part of the cemetery and will contain archaeological
remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape
in which it was constructed. Aerial photographs have shown that the ditch
fills survive undisturbed, while deposits located on the Bronze Age ground
surface will survive beneath the area disturbed by cultivation.

Source: Historic England

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