Ancient Monuments

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Bell barrow situated 50m north of Normanton Gorse and 170m south of the A303

A Scheduled Monument in Wilsford cum Lake, Wiltshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.1736 / 51°10'25"N

Longitude: -1.8368 / 1°50'12"W

OS Eastings: 411502.285671

OS Northings: 141609.58285

OS Grid: SU115416

Mapcode National: GBR 3YP.BDZ

Mapcode Global: VHB5B.3RSP

Entry Name: Bell barrow situated 50m north of Normanton Gorse and 170m south of the A303

Scheduled Date: 10 March 1925

Last Amended: 5 April 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012370

English Heritage Legacy ID: 10314

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Wilsford cum Lake

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Amesbury St Mary and St Melor

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury

Details

The monument includes a bell barrow situated 50m north of Normanton Gorse and
170m south of the A303, with views to the north east towards Stonehenge and to
the south east across Normanton Down. The barrow mound is 28m in diameter and
3.5m high. Surrounding the mound is a berm 7m wide and a ditch 7m wide and
0.75m deep, from which material was quarried during the construction of the
monument, giving an overall diameter of 56m. Partial excavation in the 19th
century revealed a skeleton lying on an elm plank, accompanied by a grooved
dagger found in a wooden box and a crushed decorated drinking cup.
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.
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 situated 50m north of Normanton Gorse is well preserved 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

Sources

Books and journals
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 207
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 205-206

Source: Historic England

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