Ancient Monuments

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Bell barrow 700m west of Upper Farm, Grafton

A Scheduled Monument in Grafton, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.33 / 51°19'47"N

Longitude: -1.6219 / 1°37'18"W

OS Eastings: 426440.056731

OS Northings: 159055.26621

OS Grid: SU264590

Mapcode National: GBR 5ZP.JRZ

Mapcode Global: VHC23.TTYT

Entry Name: Bell barrow 700m west of Upper Farm, Grafton

Scheduled Date: 10 February 1955

Last Amended: 27 June 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012437

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12278

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Grafton

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire


The monument includes a bell barrow set below the crest of a gentle west-
facing slope in an area of undulating chalk downland. The barrow mound
stands to a height of 3m and is 26m in diameter. Surrounding the barrow
mound is a raised berm 4m wide surrounded by a steep drop to ground level,
possibly representing the area from which material was quarried during
construction of the monument. A central depression c.10m across and 1.4m
deep on the barrow mound suggests the site was once partially excavated,
probably in the 19th century.
The mound and berm together have a diameter of 34m.

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 1500-1100 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 Upper Farm barrow is important as it survives comparatively well under
permanent grassland and despite some disturbance has potential for the
recovery of archaeological remains. The significance of the site is enhanced
by the fact that numerous other barrow mounds and evidence for contemporary
settlement survive in the area. These give an indication of the intensity
with which the downs were occupied during the Bronze Age period.

Source: Historic England

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