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Two bowl barrows and four bell barrows forming the greater part of a round barrow cemetery known as the New King Barrows

A Scheduled Monument in Amesbury, Wiltshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.1793 / 51°10'45"N

Longitude: -1.8089 / 1°48'32"W

OS Eastings: 413450.678521

OS Northings: 142246.609646

OS Grid: SU134422

Mapcode National: GBR 4ZV.ZDV

Mapcode Global: VHB5B.LMK9

Entry Name: Two bowl barrows and four bell barrows forming the greater part of a round barrow cemetery known as the New King Barrows

Scheduled Date: 10 March 1925

Last Amended: 24 April 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012381

English Heritage Legacy ID: 10447

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Amesbury

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 two bowl barrows and four bell barrows south of The
Avenue and 1200m east of Stonehenge, forming a the greater part of a linear
round barrow cemetery known as the New King Barrows. The cemetery, which is
aligned north-south, is situated on a prominent ridge which has views
westwards across Stonehenge, The Avenue and the Cursus. It contains a total of
seven round barrows, all but one of which are included in this scheduling, the
seventh barrow is the subject of a separate scheduling.
Following the recent clearance of many of the trees which had been planted on
and around the barrow mounds, the monument is now clearly visible from
Stonehenge and many other monuments in the Stonehenge environs.
The barrow mounds are all large, ranging in diameter from 20m to 40m and in
height from 2.75m to 4m. The berms of the four bell barrows are narrow, 2m to
5m wide. The mounds of the bowl barrows, and the mounds and berms of the bell
barrows, are surrounded by ditches from which material was quarried during
their construction. These are visible as earthworks between 4m and 9m wide and
0.1m and 0.5m deep in the case of five of the six barrows. The ditch of the
bowl barrow near the centre of the cemetery has become infilled over the years
but will survive as a buried feature. The eastern sectors of the ditches which
surround the central barrow and the two bell barrows south of it have been
infilled by arable cultivation.
Partial excavations of all six of the barrows - following the uprooting of
trees by storms in 1987 and 1990 - has revealed the presence of pottery and
worked flint of Neolithic and Bronze Age date, indicating the use of the area
prior to and during the construction of the monument. It was noted that the
mounds were composed mainly of soil, indicating that the original construction
was probably in the form of a turf stack.
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.

Bell barrows, the most visually impressive form of round barrow, are funerary
monuments dating from 1600-1200 BC. They occur either in isolation or, as in
this case, in round barrow cemeteries. They 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. Bell barrows are rare nationally with only 250 examples
known of which thirty are located within the Stonehenge area.
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.
The two bowl barrows and four bell barrows forming the greater part of the
round barrow cemetery known as the New King Barrows survive as outstanding
examples of their class and are known from recent 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
Cleal, R M J, It's an ill wind that blows no good, (1991), 6-7
Cleal, R M J, It's an ill wind that blows no good, (1991), 8-11
Cleal, R M J, It's an ill wind that blows no good, (1991), 11-15
Cleal, R M J, It's an ill wind that blows no good, (1991), 7-8
Cleal, R M J, It's an ill wind that blows no good, (1991), 6
Cleal, R M J, It's an ill wind that blows no good, (1991), 7
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 150
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 150
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 150
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 150
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 207
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 207
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 157

Source: Historic England

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