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A double bell barrow, a saucer barrow and four bowl barrows, 450m south-east of Sevenbarrows House: part of the Seven Barrows cemetery

A Scheduled Monument in Lambourn, West Berkshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.5406 / 51°32'26"N

Longitude: -1.5288 / 1°31'43"W

OS Eastings: 432776.318203

OS Northings: 182519.041427

OS Grid: SU327825

Mapcode National: GBR 6YM.B9P

Mapcode Global: VHC16.GJ4T

Entry Name: A double bell barrow, a saucer barrow and four bowl barrows, 450m south-east of Sevenbarrows House: part of the Seven Barrows cemetery

Scheduled Date: 21 March 1938

Last Amended: 10 July 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012409

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12238

County: West Berkshire

Civil Parish: Lambourn

Traditional County: Berkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Berkshire

Church of England Parish: Lambourn

Church of England Diocese: Oxford

Details

The monument includes a double bell barrow, a saucer barrow and four bowl
barrows set above the floor of a dry valley in an area of undulating chalk
downland. The double bell barrow is orientated NE-SW and is 50m long. The
northern part of the confluent mounds is 2m high and 36m across; the
southern part, which was built against the larger mound, is 1.5m high and
20m across.
Both are encircled by a single berm 3m wide and a ditch, from which material
for the mounds was quarried. This survives to a width of between 3m and 5m
and is up to 0.5m deep. The site was partially excavated in the 1850s. Finds
included a cremation burial set in a sarsen cist or box accompanied by a
bronze awl and a jet pendant. The saucer barrow lies 10m north of the bell
barrow mounds. It is 14m across with the mound surviving to a height of
0.3m. Surrounding the central mound is a ditch 2m wide and 0.2m deep. The
outer bank is no longer visible at ground level. The mound was partially
excavated in the 1850s. Finds included the crouched burial of a boy as well
as flint tools and a pottery beaker. Overlying the boy's skeleton were the
bones of an adult male. Immediately to the south of the bell barrow is a
bowl barrow 0.1m high and 25m across. Some 30m to the south of that is a
further bowl barrow 17m across and 0.3m high. At a distance of 30m further
to the south is an additional bowl barrow 20m wide and 0.5m high. A western
bowl barrow has been levelled by cultivation although the old ground surface
survives.
All four bowl barrows are surrounded by ditches from which material was
quarried during construction of the monuments. These have been infilled over
the years but survive as buried features c.3m wide.
The farm drive which crosses the monument is excluded from the scheduling,
although the ground beneath is included.

MAP EXTRACT
The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Bowl barrows, the most numerous form of round barrow, are funerary monuments
dating from the Late Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age, with most
examples belonging to the period 2400-1500 BC. They were constructed as
earthen or rubble mounds, sometimes ditched, which covered single or multiple
burials. They occur either in isolation or grouped as cemeteries and often
acted as a focus for burials in later periods. Often superficially similar,
although differing widely in size, they exhibit regional variations in form
and a diversity of burial practices. There are over 10,000 surviving bowl
barrows recorded nationally (many more have already been destroyed), occurring
across most of lowland Britain. Often occupying prominent locations, they are
a major historic element in the modern landscape and their considerable
variation of form and longevity as a monument type provide important
information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisations amongst early
prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period
and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of
protection.

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 siingle 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 [particularly multiple barrows] are
rare nationally, with less than 250 known examples most of whiich are in
Wessex. Their richness in terms of grave goods provides evidence for
chronological and cultural links amongst early prehistoric communities over
most of southern and eastern England as well as providing an insight into
their beliefs and social organisation. As a particularly rare form of round
barrow, all identified bell barrows would normally be considered to be of
national importance.
Saucer barrows are funerary monuments of the early Bronze Age. They occur
either in isolation or in barrow cemeteries (closely spaced groups of round
barrows) and were constructed as a circular area of level ground defined by
a bank and internal ditch and largely occupied by a single low, squat mound
covering one or more burials, usually in a pit. The burials, either
inhumations or cremations, are sometimmes accompanied by pottery vessels,
tools and personal ornaments. Saucer barrows are one of the rarest
recognised forms of round barrow, with about 60 known examples nationally,
most of which are in Wessex. The presence of grave goods within the barrows
provides important evidence for chronological and cultural links amongst
prehistoric communities over a wide area of Southern England as well as
providing an insight into their beliefs and social organisation. As a rare
and fragile form of round barrow, all identified saucer barrows would
normally be considered to be of national importance.
The Sevenbarrows Farm barrows are important as the rarer types survive
comparatively well and, despite partial excavation of some of the barrow
mounds and cultivation of others, they have potential for the further
recovery of archaeological remains. The significance of the monument is
considerably enhanced by its inclusion within the `Seven Barrows' cemetery.
Such groups give an indication of the intensity with which areas were
occupied during prehistory and provide evidence for the range of beliefs and
nature of social organisation in the Bronze Age.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Thomas, N, Guide to Prehistoric England, (1976), 50
Other
1068.23, Berks SMR (1068.23),

Source: Historic England

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