Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Bell barrow 450m south of A344 on Winterbourne Stoke Down

A Scheduled Monument in Winterbourne Stoke, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.1806 / 51°10'49"N

Longitude: -1.8576 / 1°51'27"W

OS Eastings: 410047.497152

OS Northings: 142378.343092

OS Grid: SU100423

Mapcode National: GBR 3YG.Z0T

Mapcode Global: VHB59.RL9B

Entry Name: Bell barrow 450m south of A344 on Winterbourne Stoke Down

Scheduled Date: 10 March 1925

Last Amended: 21 March 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011039

English Heritage Legacy ID: 10344

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 of the A344 and
situated on the summit of a broad ridge on Winterbourne Stoke Down, with views
south east to the Winterbourne Stoke Crossroads round barrow cemetery. The
barrow mound is 25m in diameter and c.3m high and is surrounded by a berm
c.6.5m wide. The mound and berm are surrounded by a ditch from which material
was quarried during the barrow's construction. This survives as a slight
earthwork 0.3m deep and 4.5m wide giving the bell barrow an overall diameter
of 47m. Partial excavation in the 19th century revealed a large urn and burnt

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 450m south of A344 on Winterbourne Stoke Down is an
outstanding example of its class 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), 202
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 118

Source: Historic England

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