Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Bell barrow 400m north-east of Postdown Farm: part of the Seven Barrows cemetery

A Scheduled Monument in Lambourn, West Berkshire

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Latitude: 51.5414 / 51°32'29"N

Longitude: -1.5253 / 1°31'30"W

OS Eastings: 433019.613966

OS Northings: 182610.632646

OS Grid: SU330826

Mapcode National: GBR 6YM.C63

Mapcode Global: VHC16.JJ06

Entry Name: Bell barrow 400m north-east of Postdown Farm: part of the Seven Barrows cemetery

Scheduled Date: 27 June 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012433

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12236

County: West Berkshire

Civil Parish: Lambourn

Traditional County: Berkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Berkshire

Church of England Parish: Lambourn

Church of England Diocese: Oxford


The monument includes a bell barrow set on the floor of a dry valley in an
area of gently undulating chalk downland. The monument is 35m in diameter and
survives under cultivation to a height of 1m. Although no longer visible at
ground level, a berm c.5m wide and a ditch c.3m wide, from which mound
material was quarried, surround the barrow. The ditch has become infilled
over the years and now survives as a buried feature. The site is clearly
visible, both as an earthwork on the ground and as a soil mark from the air.
The mound was partially excavated in 1978. Finds included the burial of dog
in the centre of the mound and a cremation burial in the north side of the
A concentration of flint artefacts, believed to be contemporary with the
monument, is visible on the surface of the ploughed field surrounding the

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

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
[particularly multiple barrows] are rare nationally, with less than 250 known
examples, most of which 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.

The Postdown Farm barrow is important as it survives comparatively well
under cultivation and, despite partial excavation of the site, has potential
for the recovery of additional archaeological remains. The significance of
the site is considerably enhanced by its inclusion within the `Seven
Barrows' barrow cemetery. Such groups of barrows can 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


Books and journals
Richards, J, 'Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society' in Lambourn barrow No. 19, , Vol. 45, (1979), 336

Source: Historic England

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