Ancient Monuments

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Disc barrow 220m south west of Stonehenge forming part of a round barrow cemetery on Stonehenge Down

A Scheduled Monument in Amesbury, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.177 / 51°10'37"N

Longitude: -1.8296 / 1°49'46"W

OS Eastings: 412009.792671

OS Northings: 141984.990109

OS Grid: SU120419

Mapcode National: GBR 501.09L

Mapcode Global: VHB5B.7PM3

Entry Name: Disc barrow 220m south west of Stonehenge forming part of a round barrow cemetery on Stonehenge Down

Scheduled Date: 10 March 1925

Last Amended: 1 May 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012385

English Heritage Legacy ID: 10370

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 a disc barrow situated 220m south west of Stonehenge
forming part of a round barrow cemetery on Stonehenge Down. It is located on
an east facing slope with views across Stonehenge towards New King Barrows.
The Stonehenge Down barrow cemetery contains eight round barrows in all,
including six bowl barrows, an oval bowl barrow and a disc barrow.
The disc barrow mound is positioned to the north east of the centre of the
barrow, and is oval in shape measuring 17m by 24m and 0.5m high. Around the
mound is a berm ranging in width between 4m and 8m. This is surrounded by a
ditch, from which material was quarried during construction of the monument
and which is 4m wide and 0.3m deep, and an outer bank 7m wide and 0.3m high,
giving an overall diameter of 52m. The barrow is slightly oval. Partial
excavation in the 19th century revealed a primary cremation within a cist.
This barrow has 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.

Disc barrows are funerary monuments dating from 1600-1200 BC. They occur
either in isolation or, as in this case, 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. Disc barrows are rare nationally with only 250
examples known of which 29 are located within the Stonehenge area.

The disc barrow 220m 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), 222
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 127

Source: Historic England

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