Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Bell barrow 350m north of Haydon Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Heytesbury, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.1727 / 51°10'21"N

Longitude: -2.126 / 2°7'33"W

OS Eastings: 391289.659246

OS Northings: 141502.109362

OS Grid: ST912415

Mapcode National: GBR 1VN.HB0

Mapcode Global: VH97Q.3SFD

Entry Name: Bell barrow 350m north of Haydon Farm

Scheduled Date: 26 April 1956

Last Amended: 22 January 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010517

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12347

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Heytesbury

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Sutton Veny St John the Evangelist

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes a bell barrow set on level ground 1km south of the River
Wylye. The monument was largely excavated in 1964 although parts of the mound
as well as much of the berm and most of the ditch remain intact. The barrow
mound, now visible as a low rise, was originally 30m in diameter and stood to
a height of 2.75m. Excavation produced an open grave with wooden coffin
underlying a heaped turf mound. Finds included a bronze dagger, cup and
pottery food vessel. Surrounding the mound were a level berm and outer ditch
from which material was quarried during construction of the monument. The
berm was 4m across and the ditch 2.74m wide and 1.2m deep. Excavation of four
narrow ditch sections demonstrated that it had smooth sides while the ditch
fill suggested it had been waterlogged in the past.

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 partial excavation in 1964, the ditch and much of the old ground
surface beneath the Haydon Farm bell barrow remains intact. Deposits
containing environmental evidence and archaeological remains are likely to
survive in these areas giving an indication of human activity on the site
immediately prior to the construction of the barrow and the landscape in which
it was built.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Johnston, D E, 'Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine' in Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine, , Vol. 72/73, (1980), 29-50

Source: Historic England

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