Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Bowl barrow 200m north of Downs Barn

A Scheduled Monument in Wanborough, Swindon

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Latitude: 51.5284 / 51°31'42"N

Longitude: -1.6387 / 1°38'19"W

OS Eastings: 425162.752661

OS Northings: 181111.017356

OS Grid: SU251811

Mapcode National: GBR 5XC.0K5

Mapcode Global: VHC14.KV27

Entry Name: Bowl barrow 200m north of Downs Barn

Scheduled Date: 9 October 1981

Last Amended: 13 January 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010418

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12330

County: Swindon

Civil Parish: Wanborough

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Bishopstone with Hinton Parva

Church of England Diocese: Bristol


The monument includes a bowl barrow set on a gentle west-facing slope in an
area of undulating chalk downland. The barrow mound is 26m in diameter and
stands at a height of 2m. The mound has a level top 9m across with a rim 0.5m
high around the outside. This probably represents partial excavation of the
site in which a cremation burial and a piece of pottery believed to be
contemporary with the monument were recovered.
Although no longer visible at ground level a ditch, from which material was
quarried during construction of the monument, surrounds the mound. This has
become infilled over the years but survives as a buried feature c.3m wide.
The post-and-wire fence which runs across the site is excluded from the
scheduling but the ground beneath it 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

Bowl barrows, the most numerous form of round barrow, are funerary monuments
dating from the Late Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age, with most
examples belonging to the period 2400-1500 BC. They were constructed as
earthen or rubble mounds, sometimes ditched, which covered single or multiple
burials. They occur either in isolation or grouped as cemeteries and often
acted as a focus for burials in later periods. Often superficially similar,
although differing widely in size, they exhibit regional variations in form
and a diversity of burial practices. There are over 10,000 surviving bowl
barrows recorded nationally (many more have already been destroyed), occurring
across most of lowland Britain. Often occupying prominent locations, they are
a major historic element in the modern landscape and their considerable
variation of form and longevity as a monument type provide important
information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisations amongst early
prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period
and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of

Despite partial excavation, the Downs Barn bowl barrow survives comparatively
well and, as one of a pair in close proximity, has potential for the recovery
of archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the nature of
Bronze Age communities in the area and the landscape in which they lived.

Source: Historic England

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