Ancient Monuments

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The Butts round barrow cemetery

A Scheduled Monument in Redlynch, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 50.9402 / 50°56'24"N

Longitude: -1.6965 / 1°41'47"W

OS Eastings: 421420.207154

OS Northings: 115679.738181

OS Grid: SU214156

Mapcode National: GBR 52X.XKX

Mapcode Global: FRA 76BM.GWH

Entry Name: The Butts round barrow cemetery

Scheduled Date: 16 December 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012538

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20297

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Redlynch

Traditional County: Hampshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire


This monument includes six bowl barrows forming The Butts round barrow
cemetery, situated on lowland heath overlooking Islands Thorns Inclosure.
During the late 19th century local antiquarians J R Wise and Rev Bartlett
carried out partial excavation of some of the barrows; hollows in four of the
mounds survive as evidence of these excavations. Although no longer visible
at ground level, each barrow is surrounded by a ditch from which material was
quarried during the construction of the mounds. These have become infilled
over the years but survive as buried features between 1.5m and 2m wide. The
individual barrows within the cemetery can be described as follows:
(SU 21431567) The barrow mound measures 13m in diameter and 0.9m high. This
barrow was one of those excavated by Wise who found charcoal, burnt bone and
a stone hammer beneath an earth mound capped by flints.
(SU 21441569) The barrow mound measures 16m in diameter and 1.3m high. This
barrow was partially excavated by Wise who found a patch of charcoal beneath
a gravel and earth mound. The location of this excavation is still visible as
a T-shaped hollow in the centre of the mound.
(SU 21411566) The barrow mound measures 11m in diameter and 0.9m high.
(SU 21401566) The barrow mound measures 9m long, 7m wide and 0.5m high and a
hollow in the centre of the mound suggests that it is one of the mounds
investigated by Rev Bartlett.
(SU 21391565) The barrow mound measures 16m in diameter and 0.9m high. A
hollow in the centre suggests partial excavation by Rev Bartlett.
(SU 21411569) The barrow mound is flat-topped and measures 12m in diameter
and 0.3m high.

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

Round barrow cemeteries date to the Bronze Age (c.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, occasionally associated with earlier
long barrows. Where large scale investigation has been undertaken around them,
contemporary or later "flat" burials between the barrow mounds have often been
revealed. Round barrow cemeteries occur across most of lowland Britain, with a
marked concentration in Wessex. In some cases, they are clustered around other
important contemporary monuments such as henges. Often occupying prominent
locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape, whilst
their diversity and their longevity as a monument type provide important
information on the variety of beliefs and social organisation amongst early
prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period
and a substantial proportion of surviving or partly-surviving examples are
considered worthy of protection.

The Butts round barrow cemetery survives comparatively well within the New
Forest. Although some of the barrow mounds have been reduced in size or
partially disturbed, all of the barrows retain undisturbed remains and the
cemetery as a whole has considerable archaeological potential. The New Forest
region is known to have been important in terms of lowland Bronze Age
occupation and a considerable amount of archaeological evidence has survived
because of a lack of agricultural activity, the result of later climatic
deterioration, development of heath and the establishment of a Royal Forest.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Wise, J R, The New Forest, (1893), 209

Source: Historic England

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