Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Bowl barrow 750m south-east of Barbury Castle Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Wroughton, Swindon

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Latitude: 51.4754 / 51°28'31"N

Longitude: -1.7736 / 1°46'25"W

OS Eastings: 415816.185895

OS Northings: 175178.987

OS Grid: SU158751

Mapcode National: GBR 4WF.GDD

Mapcode Global: VHB40.65PT

Entry Name: Bowl barrow 750m south-east of Barbury Castle Farm

Scheduled Date: 17 February 1927

Last Amended: 10 October 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012192

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12210

County: Swindon

Civil Parish: Wroughton

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire


The monument includes a bowl barrow set below the crest of a steep west-facing
slope in an area of undulating chalk downland known as Barbury Hill.
The barrow mound is 21m in diameter and stands to a height of 2m. A hollow in
the centre of the mound, 8m across and 0.4m deep, suggests partial excavation
of the site, probably in the late 19th century. Surrounding the barrow is a
ditch from which material was quarried during construction of the mound. This
survives as an earthwork 5m wide and 0.4m deep to the north, south, south-west
and north-east of the barrow mound and, elsewhere, as a buried feature clearly
visible as a dark soil mark in the adjacent arable fields.

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

Bowl barrows, the most numerous form of round barrow, are funerary monuments
dating from the Late Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age, with most
examples belonging to the period 2400-1500 BC. They were constructed as
earthen or rubble mounds, sometimes ditched, which covered single or multiple
burials. They occur either in isolation or grouped as cemeteries and often
acted as a focus for burials in later periods. Often superficially similar,
although differing widely in size, they exhibit regional variations in form
and a diversity of burial practices. There are over 10,000 surviving bowl
barrows recorded nationally (many more have already been destroyed), occurring
across most of lowland Britain. Often occupying prominent locations, they are
a major historic element in the modern landscape and their considerable
variation of form and longevity as a monument type provide important
information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisations amongst early
prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period
and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of

Despite partial excavation of the Barbury Castle barrow mound and disturbance
to parts of the ditch by cultivation, much of the monument remains intact and
survives comparatively well. It therefore has significant archaeological
potential. The importance of the monument is enhanced by the fact that
numerous other barrow mounds survive in the area. These give an indication
of the extent to which the area was settled during the Bronze Age.

Source: Historic England

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