Ancient Monuments

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Three bowl barrows 540m east of Week Farm: part of a round barrow cemetery on Week Down

A Scheduled Monument in Ventnor, Isle of Wight

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Latitude: 50.5982 / 50°35'53"N

Longitude: -1.2353 / 1°14'7"W

OS Eastings: 454215.776228

OS Northings: 77891.175217

OS Grid: SZ542778

Mapcode National: GBR 9F3.DHG

Mapcode Global: FRA 879H.8JN

Entry Name: Three bowl barrows 540m east of Week Farm: part of a round barrow cemetery on Week Down

Scheduled Date: 3 November 1961

Last Amended: 18 January 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010004

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22019

County: Isle of Wight

Civil Parish: Ventnor

Traditional County: Hampshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Isle of Wight

Church of England Parish: Godshill All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Portsmouth


The monument includes three bowl barrows aligned almost north-south on a
hilltop position in downland on the coast of the southern side of the Isle of
Wight. To the west the land falls away to a valley which runs north-south.
These barrows lie on the highest point of the hill. These are three of an
original ten barrows which made up the Week Down cemetery. Only three of these
and two others, the subject of separate schedulings, now survive.
The barrows, from north to south, have mounds which measure 16.5m, 20.5m and
29m east-west, 17.5m, 16.5m and 17m north-south, and are c.1.5m, 1.5m, and
2.75m high respectively. Surrounding each mound is a ditch from which material
was quarried during its construction. The ditch of the most northerly barrow
can be seen as a slight depression 3m wide and 0.2m deep on the east side of
the mound. The ditch of the most southerly barrow can be seen as a slight
depression on the east and west sides of the mound c.4m wide and 0.4m deep.
The ditch of the middle barrow has become infilled over the years and can no
longer be seen at ground level, but survives as a buried feature c.4m wide.
Each of the barrows has a central depression in their top indicative of
previous investigation.
The concrete blocks with angle iron set into them, which can be seen on the
south and east sides of the mound of the most southerly barrow in the area of
its ditch, are excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath included.
On the north side of the same barrow there is a post and wire fence which
crosses the barrow mound and beyond that a wooden post and cross-beam fence
which is also on the edge of the barrow. These two fences form the south side
of a small enclosure used for storing silage. All these fences are excluded
from the scheduling although the ground beneath them is included.

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

Round barrow cemeteries date to the Bronze Age (c.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, occasionally associated with earlier
long barrows. Where large scale investigation has been undertaken around them,
contemporary or later "flat" burials between the barrow mounds have often been
revealed. Round barrow cemeteries occur across most of lowland Britain, with a
marked concentration in Wessex. In some cases, they are clustered around other
important contemporary monuments such as henges. Often occupying prominent
locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape, whilst
their diversity and their longevity as a monument type provide important
information on the variety of beliefs and social organisation amongst early
prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period
and a substantial proportion of surviving or partly-surviving examples are
considered worthy of protection.

Despite having been partially excavated in the past, the three bowl barrows
east of Week Farm are integral to the Week Down cemetery and will contain
archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the cemetery and
the landscape in which it was constructed.

Source: Historic England


Carr, R. D., Report on Week Down excavations (unpublished), 1968,

Source: Historic England

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