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Two bell barrows, two bowl barrows and a disc barrow which form the greater part of Rollestone Field linear round barrow cemetery

A Scheduled Monument in Shrewton, Wiltshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.1963 / 51°11'46"N

Longitude: -1.8685 / 1°52'6"W

OS Eastings: 409286.77345

OS Northings: 144125.089784

OS Grid: SU092441

Mapcode National: GBR 3Y8.VVP

Mapcode Global: VHB59.K6L8

Entry Name: Two bell barrows, two bowl barrows and a disc barrow which form the greater part of Rollestone Field linear round barrow cemetery

Scheduled Date: 10 March 1925

Last Amended: 30 March 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010904

English Heritage Legacy ID: 10396

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Shrewton

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Salisbury Plain

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury

Details

The monument includes five round barrows forming the greater part of
Rollestone Field linear round barrow cemetery. The barrows are aligned broadly
east to 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. The two bell barrows, two of the bowl barrows
and the disc barrow are contained within this monument. The other barrows are
outliers to the cemetery located to the south west and the north east.
Of the five within this monument, four of the barrow mounds are levelled and
one, a bell barrow, survives as a slight earthwork 0.4m high and 12m in
diameter. The bowl barrow mounds, and the mounds and berms of the bell and
disc barrows are surrounded by ditches from which material was quarried during
their construction. These have become infilled over the years but survive as
buried features and are visible on aerial photographs from which the overall
diameters of the bowl barrows are calculated to be 29m and 40m. The disc
barrow, located just to the south of the main line of barrows has an overall
diameter of 52m, while the two bell barrows are 29m and 43m overall diameter.
The two bowl barrows and one of the bell barrows appear to have been
confluent. Partial excavation of three of the barrows in the 19th century and
of two of the barrows in 1958 revealed several cremations and inhumations
together with accompanying grave goods.
All fence posts are excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath these
features is included.

MAP EXTRACT
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 in
round barrow cemeteries. They 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 thirty are located within the Stonehenge area.
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.
Disc barrows are funerary monuments dating from 1600-1200 BC. They occur
either in isolation or in round barrow cemeteries. Disc barrows were
constructed as a circular or oval area of level ground defined by a bank and
internal ditch and containing one or more central or eccentrically located
small, low mounds, covering burials, usually in pits. The burials are normally
cremations and are frequently accompanied by pottery vessels, tools and
personal ornaments. Disc barrows are rare nationally with only 250 examples
known of which 29 are located within the Stonehenge area.
Despite four of the barrows being levelled by cultivation, partial excavation
has shown that the five barrows forming the greater 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

Sources

Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire, (1957), 190
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 219
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 191
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
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 174
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 173-4
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 174
'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. 25, (1959), 274

Source: Historic England

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