Ancient Monuments

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Three bowl barrows in Colerne Park, 450m north of Keeper's Cottage

A Scheduled Monument in Colerne, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.4578 / 51°27'28"N

Longitude: -2.2384 / 2°14'18"W

OS Eastings: 383532.694679

OS Northings: 173229.853949

OS Grid: ST835732

Mapcode National: GBR 1R0.JX9

Mapcode Global: VH969.5M09

Entry Name: Three bowl barrows in Colerne Park, 450m north of Keeper's Cottage

Scheduled Date: 9 October 1981

Last Amended: 31 January 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010758

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12316

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Colerne

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Colerne with N Wraxall

Church of England Diocese: Bristol


The monument includes three closely grouped bowl barrows set below the crest
of a west-facing slope above the valley of By Brook, a tributary of the River
Avon. The northern mound is 25m across and 3m high with a level top 8m
across. A ditch, from which material was quarried during construction of the
monument, surrounds the mound. This has been partly infilled over the years
but survives as a slight earthwork 3m wide and 0.3m deep. The barrow mound
was partially excavated by Shaw Mellor in 1953. Immediately to the south-west
of the larger barrow mound are two smaller mounds. Both have dimensions of
12m in diameter and are 1m high. Although no longer visible at ground level
ditches surround each of the mounds, surviving as buried features c.2m wide.

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 of the largest of the barrow mounds in 1953, the
Colerne Park group of barrows survives comparatively well and has potential
for the recovery of archaeological evidence and environmental remains relating
to the landscape in which the barrows were constructed. The importance of the
site is enhanced by its survival as a group of barrow mounds in an area where
few similar monuments are known. It could therefore provide a valuable
insight into the social organisation and economy within an area sparsely
populated during the Bronze Age period.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
'Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine' in Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine: Volume 55, , Vol. 55, (), 333-40

Source: Historic England

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