Ancient Monuments

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Three bowl barrows forming part of Rollestone Field linear round barrow cemetery

A Scheduled Monument in Winterbourne Stoke, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.1973 / 51°11'50"N

Longitude: -1.8661 / 1°51'57"W

OS Eastings: 409453.237645

OS Northings: 144240.78698

OS Grid: SU094442

Mapcode National: GBR 3Y8.WK9

Mapcode Global: VHB59.L5VG

Entry Name: Three bowl barrows forming part of Rollestone Field linear round barrow cemetery

Scheduled Date: 10 March 1925

Last Amended: 30 March 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010886

English Heritage Legacy ID: 10449

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Winterbourne Stoke

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Salisbury Plain

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes three bowl barrows which form part of Rollestone Field
linear round barrow cemetery. The barrows are aligned broadly east-west and
are situated on a plateau which declines gradually south west to the valley of
the River Till. The Rollestone Field linear round barrow cemetery contains ten
round barrows in all, including seven bowl barrows, two bell barrows and a
disc barrow. This monument contains three bowl barrows and these are located
NNE of the other barrows. The mound of the easternmost barrow is 0.4m high and
18m in diameter. The westernmost barrow is oval in shape, measuring 24m north
to south and 22m east to west, and is 0.5m high. Both of these mounds are
surrounded by ditches from which material was quarried during their
construction. These have become infilled over the years but survive as buried
features c.2m wide in the case of the eastern barrow, giving an overall
diameter of c.22m and c.2.5m wide in the case of the western barrow, giving a
maximum overall diameter of c.29m. The central barrow mound is now difficult
to identify on the ground, having been levelled by cultivation. However, the
surrounding quarry ditch is visible on aerial photographs from which the
overall diameter of the barrow is calculated to be 22m. The eastern and
western barrows were partially excavated in 1958 when two inhumations were
found in the former and three cremations together with accompanying grave
goods were found in the latter.
All fence posts are excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath these
features 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

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.
Round barrow cemeteries date to the Bronze Age (2000-700 BC). They comprise
closely spaced groups of up to 30 round barrows - rubble or earthen mounds
covering single or multiple burials. Most cemeteries developed over a
considerable period of time, often many centuries, and in some cases acted as
a focus for burials as late as the early medieval period. They exhibit
considerable diversity of burial rite, plan and form, frequently including
several different types of round barrow and occasionally associated with
earlier long barrows. Where investigation beyond the round barrows has
occurred, contemporary or later 'flat' burials between the barrow mounds have
often been revealed. Round barrow cemeteries occur across most of lowland
England with a marked concentration in Wessex. In some cases they are
clustered around other important contemporary monuments, as is the case both
here and at Avebury. Often occupying prominent positions, they are a major
historic element in the modern landscape, while their diversity and their
longevity as a monument type provide important information on the variety of
beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities.

Bowl barrows, the most numerous form of round barrow, are funerary monuments
dating from the Late Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age. They were
constructed as earthen or rubble mounds, normally ditched, which covered
single or multiple burials. Often superficially similar, although differing
widely in size, they exhibit regional variations in form and a variety of
burial practices. The burials, either inhumations or cremations, are
sometimes accompanied by pottery vessels, tools and personal ornaments. There
are over 10,000 surviving bowl barrows recorded nationally and at least 320 in
the Stonehenge area.
Despite one of the barrows being levelled by cultivation, partial excavation
has shown that the three bowl barrows forming part of the Rollestone Field
linear round barrow cemetery will contain archaeological remains and
environmental evidence relating to the monument and landscape in which it was
constructed. Aerial photographs have shown that the ditch fills survive
undisturbed, while deposits located on the Bronze Age ground surface will
survive beneath the area disturbed by cultivation.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 190
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 190
'Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society' in Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society, , Vol. 25, (1959), 274
'Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society' in Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society, , Vol. 50, (1984), 255-318
Green, C, 'Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society' in Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society, , Vol. 25, (1959), 274
Green, C, 'Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society' in Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society, , Vol. 50, (1984), 255-318

Source: Historic England

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