Ancient Monuments

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Bell barrow north east of Westfield Farm and 150m south of Wilsford round barrow cemetery

A Scheduled Monument in Wilsford cum Lake, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.1554 / 51°9'19"N

Longitude: -1.8319 / 1°49'54"W

OS Eastings: 411849.10375

OS Northings: 139586.621629

OS Grid: SU118395

Mapcode National: GBR 3YW.KNB

Mapcode Global: VHB5J.67C3

Entry Name: Bell barrow north east of Westfield Farm and 150m south of Wilsford round barrow cemetery

Scheduled Date: 22 February 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010876

English Heritage Legacy ID: 10358

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Wilsford cum Lake

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Woodford Valley with Archers Gate

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes a bell barrow north east of Westfield Farm and 150m
south of the Wilsford round barrow cemetery. It is situated below the crest of
a ridge with views to the south east across the Avon valley.
The barrow has a mound 20m in diameter and 1m high. It is surrounded by a berm
and outer ditch which are now difficult to identify on the ground, but are
visible on aerial photographs, from which it is calculated that the berm is 8m
wide and the ditch 3m wide. The overall diameter is therefore 42m. The
monument was previously recorded as a bowl barrow, but is now interpreted as a
bell barrow.
A field visit in the late 19th century recovered food vessel sherds, an axe, a
flint scraper and bone objects.

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

A small number of areas in southern England appear to have acted as foci for
ceremonial and ritual activity during the Neolithic and Bronze Age periods.
Two of the best known and earliest recognised areas are around Avebury and
Stonehenge, now jointly designated as a World Heritage Site.
The area of chalk downland which surrounds Stonehenge contains one of the
densest and most varied groups of Neolithic and Bronze Age field monuments in
Britain. Included within the area are Stonehenge itself, the Stonehenge
cursus, the Durrington Walls henge, and a variety of burial monuments, many
grouped into cemeteries.
The area has been the subject of archaeological research since the 18th
century when Stukeley recorded many of the monuments and partially excavated a
number of the burial mounds. More recently, the collection of artefacts from
the surfaces of ploughed fields has supplemented the evidence for ritual and
burial by revealing the intensity of contemporary settlement and land-use.
In view of the importance of the area, all ceremonial and sepulchral monuments
of this period which retain significant archaeological remains are identified
as nationally important.
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 1600-1300 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 are rare nationally, with less than 250 known examples, many of
which are in Wessex and around 30 of which are in the Stonehenge area. This
group of monuments will provide important information on the development of
this area during the Neolithic and Bronze Age periods.

The bell barrow north east of Westfield Farm survives comparatively well and
is known from finds recorded in the 19th century to contain archaeological
remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape
in which it was constructed.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 199
17, Salisbury Museum Accessions Register, (1949)

Source: Historic England

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