Ancient Monuments

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Five bowl barrows forming the greater part of a round barrow cemetery 200m south west of Stonehenge on Stonehenge Down

A Scheduled Monument in Amesbury, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.1781 / 51°10'41"N

Longitude: -1.8293 / 1°49'45"W

OS Eastings: 412025.98924

OS Northings: 142114.912045

OS Grid: SU120421

Mapcode National: GBR 501.0B8

Mapcode Global: VHB5B.7NR6

Entry Name: Five bowl barrows forming the greater part of a round barrow cemetery 200m south west of Stonehenge on Stonehenge Down

Scheduled Date: 10 June 1952

Last Amended: 1 May 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012383

English Heritage Legacy ID: 10368

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


The monument includes five bowl barrows forming the greater part of a
nucleated round barrow cemetery 200m south west of Stonehenge on Stonehenge
Down, situated on an east facing slope with views across Stonehenge towards
New King Barrows. The Stonehenge Down round barrow cemetery contains eight
round barrows in all, including six bowl barrows, an oval bowl barrow and a
disc barrow.

The two most westerly of the barrow mounds contained within this monument have
diameters of 35m, the easterly three range between 13m and 26m. All the barrow
mounds are surrounded by ditches from which material was quarried during their
construction. The ditch around the most westerly barrow and that around the
most easterly are visible as slight earthworks 3m and 2m wide respectively,
giving overall diameters of 41m and 30m. The ditches around the other three
are now difficult to identify on the ground having become infilled over the
years, but are calculated to range between 1.5 and 3m in width, giving overall
diameters ranging from 16m to 41m.

The most north westerly barrow mound is 0.7m high, the others range between
0.2m and 0.4m in height. Partial excavation in the 19th century revealed that
the north western barrow had once contained an inhumation in an oblong cist
which had been removed previously, and that the barrow 60m to the north east
of it contained a possible primary cremation.

These barrows have recently been the subject of a geophysical survey which
confirmed the survival of archaeological remains.

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.

The round barrow cemetery 200m south west of Stonehenge survives well, and is
known from partial excavation and geophysical survey to contain archaeological
remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape
in which it was constructed.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
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
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 128
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 128
'Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine' in No 5, , Vol. 38, (), 165

Source: Historic England

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