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Eighteen round barrows forming the greater part of the Winterbourne Stoke crossroads round barrow cemetery

A Scheduled Monument in Winterbourne Stoke, Wiltshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.175 / 51°10'29"N

Longitude: -1.856 / 1°51'21"W

OS Eastings: 410161.500585

OS Northings: 141760.609782

OS Grid: SU101417

Mapcode National: GBR 3YN.CKY

Mapcode Global: VHB59.SQ5M

Entry Name: Eighteen round barrows forming the greater part of the Winterbourne Stoke crossroads round barrow cemetery

Scheduled Date: 9 July 1923

Last Amended: 13 April 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012368

English Heritage Legacy ID: 10306

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

Details

The monument includes 18 round barrows forming the greater part of the
Winterbourne Stoke crossroads round barrow cemetery, a nucleated cemetery
situated on a ridge with views westwards across the Till valley and eastwards
across Stonehenge and Normanton Down. The focal point and origin of the
cemetery is a long barrow situated 100m to the south west of the monument, its
long axis orientated along the ridge on which the cemetery later developed.
The Winterbourne Stoke crossroads cemetery contains 22 round barrows in all,
including 14 bowl barrows, three bell barrows, two disc barrows, two pond
barrows and a saucer barrow. Ten of the bowl barrows, the saucer barrow and
all of the bell, disc and pond barrows are contained within this monument. The
other barrows are outliers to the cemetery situated to the south west and
north east.
Within this group, some of the barrows are ditched and sizes range from 9m to
56m overall diameter. Several have been built in close proximity to each
other. Two of the three bell barrows abut, and the south westerly bell barrow
has a carefully constructed return in its ditch to accommodate a small pond
barrow which pre-dated it. These two bell barrows are of similar size, each
with an overall diameter of 28m and heights of 3.75m and 4.25m. The third bell
barrow has an overall diameter of 38m and a height of 1.7m. The two disc
barrows also abut and are also of similar size, with overall diameters of 52m
and 53m, including ditches and outer banks each 4.5m wide. According to a 19th
century record, the more northerly possessed three small tumps as originally
constructed. The two tumps now visible at the centre are conjoined. The two
pond barrows have overall diameters of 22m and 30m, and their depressions are
each 1m deep. The saucer barrow is an outlier situated to the south east of
the cemetery and is visible in part as a slight earthwork. Of the ten bowl
barrows diameters range from 18m to 40m overall, while they vary in height
between 0.4m and 1.8m. All were surrounded by ditches from which material was
quarried during their construction. These have mostly become infilled over the
years, although some are visible as slight earthworks 0.2m to 0.5m deep.
With the exception of four of the round barrows, all were partially excavated
in the 19th century. Most contained burials or cremations and some contained
multiples of both. All were accompanied by a wide assortment of associated
grave goods. Finds from the bell barrows are of special interest. The most
northerly yielded an inhumation in a boat-shaped coffin accompanied by a
dagger and a necklace; one of the pair of bell barrows produced a primary
cremation in a clay-covered wooden box together with two daggers, and the
other produced a primary inhumation in an elm-trunk coffin, with two daggers
and a five-handled Breton type jar.
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.

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. Saucer barrows are one of the rarest recognised forms of
round barrow, with about 60 examples nationally, at least ten of which are
known from the Stonehenge area.

Disc barrows and 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. 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. The 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. Both types of barrow are rare nationally with only 250
examples of disc barrow known of which 29 are located within the Stonehenge
area and 250 examples of bell barrow of which 30 are located within the
Stonehenge area.

The group also includes two pond barrows, the rarest form of round barrow, of
which about 60 examples are recorded in a distribution largely confined to
Dorset and Wiltshire, many of which are within the Stonehenge area.

The Winterbourne Stoke crossroads round barrow cemetery survives as an
outstanding example of its class, exhibiting fine examples of all the major
barrow types. Partial excavation has shown that the barrows forming this
greater part of the Winterbourne Stoke crossroads round barrow cemetery
contain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the
monument and the landscape in which it was constructed.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 201
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 201
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 225
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 201
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 221
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 221
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 201
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 201
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 224
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 201
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 225
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 212
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 212
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 201
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 201
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 201
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 201
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 201
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 125-126
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 121
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 124
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 123
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 124-125
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 122
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 123-4
Richards, J C, The Stonehenge Environs Project, (1984), 30-31
'Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine' in Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine, , Vol. 61, (), 4-5

Source: Historic England

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