Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Bell barrow 600m west of Beckhampton Buildings

A Scheduled Monument in Bishops Cannings, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.4111 / 51°24'39"N

Longitude: -1.9049 / 1°54'17"W

OS Eastings: 406710.1004

OS Northings: 168012.061222

OS Grid: SU067680

Mapcode National: GBR 3VP.K72

Mapcode Global: VHB43.XSTM

Entry Name: Bell barrow 600m west of Beckhampton Buildings

Scheduled Date: 10 March 1925

Last Amended: 27 November 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012299

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12186

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Bishops Cannings

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Bishop's Cannings and Etchilhampton St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes a bell barrow set above the floor of a dry valley
immediately north of Bishops Cannings Down. The barrow mound is 1.5m high
and has a diameter of 25m. Although no longer visible at ground level, the
mound is surrounded by a level berm c.5m wide and an outer ditch from which
material was quarried during construction of the mound. The ditch has become
infilled over the years but survives as a buried feature c.3m wide. An outer
bank was recorded in the 1950s. Sherds of Middle Bronze Age pottery as well
as burnt ox bones have been recorded from the surface of the site.

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

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
[particularly multiple barrows] are rare nationally, with less than 250 known
examples, most of which are in Wessex. Their richness in terms of grave goods
provides evidence for chronological and cultural links amongst early
prehistoric communities over most of southern and eastern England as well as
providing an insight into their beliefs and social organisation. As a
particularly rare form of round barrow, all identified bell barrows would
normally be considered to be of national importance.

Despite limited damage due to cultivation, the bell barrow west of
Beckhampton Buildings survives well and has considerable
archaeological potential. The presence of numerous other barrows and
additional evidence for contemporary settlement on and around Bishop's
Cannings Down provides a clear indication of the intensity with which the
area was settled during the Bronze Age, further enhancing the significance
of the monument.

Source: Historic England


Re: bell barrow W Beckhampton Bldgs, Meyrick, O,
Wilts SMR, Re: SU06NE723,

Source: Historic England

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