Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Bowl barrow on Rivar Down

A Scheduled Monument in Shalbourne, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.3475 / 51°20'50"N

Longitude: -1.5606 / 1°33'37"W

OS Eastings: 430701.306065

OS Northings: 161021.835676

OS Grid: SU307610

Mapcode National: GBR 5ZL.G95

Mapcode Global: VHC24.WDVD

Entry Name: Bowl barrow on Rivar Down

Scheduled Date: 30 November 1956

Last Amended: 25 April 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012514

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12165

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Shalbourne

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire


The monument includes a bowl barrow set below the crest of a steep
north-facing slope. The barrow mound survives to a height of 1.3m and
has a diameter of 16m. Surrounding the mound is a ditch c.3m wide,
visible as a low earthwork 0.1m deep to the west and north-west of the
barrow mound and as a buried feature on the remaining sides. A hollow
c.3m across on the centre of the mound suggests the site may once have
been excavated, probably in the 19th century.

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

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

Despite possible evidence for partial excavation of the barrow mound,
much of the Rivar Down monument remains intact and therefore has
considerable archaeological potential.

Source: Historic England

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