Ancient Monuments

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Upton Great Barrow: a bell barrow in East Barrow Belt

A Scheduled Monument in Knook, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.1801 / 51°10'48"N

Longitude: -2.065 / 2°3'54"W

OS Eastings: 395550.649164

OS Northings: 142316.878274

OS Grid: ST955423

Mapcode National: GBR 2WW.SX2

Mapcode Global: VHB56.5L5Q

Entry Name: Upton Great Barrow: a bell barrow in East Barrow Belt

Scheduled Date: 3 March 1927

Last Amended: 6 February 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010407

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12304

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Knook

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Upton Lovell St Augustine of Canterbury

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes a bell barrow set on high ground above the Wylye Valley.
The barrow mound is 34m in diameter and 2.5m high, surrounded on all sides by
a level berm, ditch and outer bank. The berm measures 3m across and is set
0.75m above the bottom of the ditch. The ditch, from which material was
quarried during construction of the monument, varies in width between 4m to
the west and 6m to the east. Although partly infilled over the years it
survives to a depth of 0.3m. Beyond the ditch are the slight traces of an
outer bank.

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 1500-1100 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.

Despite some disturbance to the surface of the mound caused by the
construction of water tanks and associated piping, much of the Upton Great
Barrow monument survives well and has potential for the recovery of
archaeological remains as well as environmental evidence relating to the
period in which the monument was constructed. The significance of the site is
enhanced both by the fact that it represents an outstanding example of its
class and because numerous other round barrows survive in the area as well as
additional evidence for contemporary settlement. Such evidence provides a
clear indication of the extent to which the area was settled during the Bronze
Age period.

Source: Historic England

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