Ancient Monuments

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Bell barrow 450m south east of Greenland Farm, forming part of a linear round barrow cemetery west of the Lesser Cursus

A Scheduled Monument in Winterbourne Stoke, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.1903 / 51°11'24"N

Longitude: -1.8557 / 1°51'20"W

OS Eastings: 410179.957848

OS Northings: 143457.723

OS Grid: SU101434

Mapcode National: GBR 3YG.CND

Mapcode Global: VHB59.SBBW

Entry Name: Bell barrow 450m south east of Greenland Farm, forming part of a linear round barrow cemetery west of the Lesser Cursus

Scheduled Date: 10 March 1925

Last Amended: 20 June 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010899

English Heritage Legacy ID: 10349

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Winterbourne Stoke

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Winterbourne Stoke St Peter

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes a bell barrow located 450m south east of Greenland Farm
and forming part of a linear round barrow cemetery aligned broadly east to
west and occupying a south facing slope on Winterbourne Stoke Down, west of
the Lesser Cursus. The cemetery contains six round barrows in all, including
four bowl barrows and two bell barrows.
The barrow mound is 1.8m high and 28m in diameter. The berm is now difficult
to distinguish from the mound. Surrounding the mound and berm is a ditch from
which material was quarried during its construction. This has become infilled
over the years but survives as a buried feature c.3m wide, giving the bell
barrow an overall diameter of c.34m. Partial excavation in the 19th century
produced a primary inhumation of two skeletons, one of an adult and the other
of a child.
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.

Bell barrows, the most visually impressive form of round barrow, are funerary
monuments dating from 1600-1200 BC. They occur either in isolation or, as in
this case, in round barrow cemeteries. Bell barrows were constructed as single
or multiple mounds covering burials often in pits and surrounded by an
enclosure ditch. The burials in bell barrows appear to be those of
aristocratic individuals and are also frequently accompanied by weapons,
personal ornaments and pottery vessels. Bell barrows are rare nationally with
only 250 examples known of which around 30 are located within the Stonehenge
The bell barrow 450m south east of Greenland Farm, west of the Lesser Cursus
survives well and is known from partial excavation 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), 212
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 165

Source: Historic England

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