Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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King Barrow: a long barrow 100m north of Bishopstrow House

A Scheduled Monument in Warminster, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.1992 / 51°11'57"N

Longitude: -2.1479 / 2°8'52"W

OS Eastings: 389758.682583

OS Northings: 144457.028368

OS Grid: ST897444

Mapcode National: GBR 1V7.PRZ

Mapcode Global: VH97P.Q4B0

Entry Name: King Barrow: a long barrow 100m north of Bishopstrow House

Scheduled Date: 26 June 1924

Last Amended: 11 February 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010399

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12294

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Warminster

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Bishopstrow St Aldhelm

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes a long barrow set on a local promontory in the valley of
the River Wylye. The barrow mound is 70m long, 22m wide and c.3m high. It is
orientated NNW-SSE and is ovoid in plan. Although no longer visible at ground
level ditches, from which material was quarried during the construction of the
monument, flank the mound to the east and west. These have become infilled
over the years but survive as buried features c.5m wide. The site has been
partially excavated on two occasions, by Colt-Hoare and Cunnington. Finds
have included a cremation burial and numerous later burials. Part of the
mound was removed in the 19th century leaving a scar at the northern end of
the monument.

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

Long barrows were constructed as earthen or drystone mounds with flanking
ditches and acted as funerary monuments during the Early and Middle Neolithic
periods (3400-2400 BC). They represent the burial places of Britain's early
farming communities and, as such, are amongst the oldest field monuments
surviving visibly in the present landscape. Where investigated, long barrows
appear to have been used for communal burial, often with only parts of the
human remains having been selected for interment. Certain sites provide
evidence for several phases of funerary monument preceding the barrow and,
consequently, it is probable that long barrows acted as important ritual sites
for local communities over a considerable period of time. Some 500 long
barrows are recorded in England. As one of the few types of Neolithic
structure to survive as earthworks, and due to their comparative rarity, their
considerable age and their longevity as a monument type, all long barrows are
considered to be nationally important.

The 180 long barrows of Hampshire, Wiltshire and Dorset form the densest and
one of the most significant concentrations of monuments of this type in the
country. The long barrow at Bishopstrow House survives well as an outstanding
example of its class despite partial excavation on two separate occasions.
The site therefore has potential for the recovery of further archaeological
remains as well as environmental evidence relating to the surrounding
landscape at the time the monument was constructed. The importance of the
site is enhanced by the survival of numerous Bronze Age burial monuments in
the immediate area. Combined, these give an indication of how settlement of
the area continued between the 5th and 2nd millennia BC.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
'Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine' in Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine, , Vol. 49, (1958)

Source: Historic England

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