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A group of 11 round barrows forming part of a Bronze Age cemetery, and part of a field system east of Eaglehead Copse

A Scheduled Monument in Havenstreet and Ashey, Isle of Wight

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Latitude: 50.6836 / 50°41'1"N

Longitude: -1.1782 / 1°10'41"W

OS Eastings: 458156.676176

OS Northings: 87430.976273

OS Grid: SZ581874

Mapcode National: GBR 9D6.2YX

Mapcode Global: FRA 87F8.DV0

Entry Name: A group of 11 round barrows forming part of a Bronze Age cemetery, and part of a field system east of Eaglehead Copse

Scheduled Date: 23 October 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012762

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22048

County: Isle of Wight

Civil Parish: Havenstreet and Ashey

Traditional County: Hampshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Isle of Wight

Church of England Parish: Brading St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: Portsmouth


The monument includes 11 closely spaced bowl barrows and part of a later
field system situated on the top and west facing slope of a hill. The
barrows form part of a wider cemetery on Middle West Down which includes at
least 17 round barrows, five of which can be identified as visible earthworks.
The area of field system is the main part of a system which covers the
hilltop and west facing slope of Middle West Down.
Three of the 11 barrows in this monument have recognisable mounds; the
remainder of the group have been levelled. The mounds and areas of mounds have
diameters of between 8m and 37m, and range in height up to c.0.7m. Surrounding
each mound is a ditch from which material was quarried during its
construction. These ditches have become infilled over the years and can no
longer be seen at ground level, but survive as buried features c.2m to 5m
wide, visible on aerial photographs.
Two ploughed barrows in the field east of Eaglehead Copse were identified and
one was opened by Captain J Thorpe in 1881. It is suggested that one of the
upstanding barrows in this group is the barrow which Thorpe investigated. The
partially excavated barrow contained a contracted skeleton accompanied by a
food vessel. Also found in the barrow were a large hammerstone, worked flints
and pottery sherds of Neolithic and Bronze Age date.
Later in date than the barrows is the field system. This takes the form of a
series of linear banks up to c.20m wide defining individual fields within the
system and covering a total area of c.370m east-west and c.250m north-south.

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.

Despite having been reduced or levelled by cultivation and one of the barrows
possibly having been partially excavated, the bowl barrows and part of the
field system east of Eaglehead Copse are integral to the Middle West Down
cemetery and the subsequent use of the area for agricultural practices. All
will contain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the
cemetery, the field system and the landscape in which they were constructed.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Isle of Wight archaeological index, (1979)
Grinsell, , Sherwin, , 'Proceedings of the I.O.W. Nat History and Archaeological Soc' in Procedings of the I.O.W. Nat History and Archaeological Soc, , Vol. 3, (1940), 209
CUC 1977./SZ5887-NN-16, 15./AP file,
CUC 1977/SZ5887-NN-15, 16, 17/AP file,
CUCAP 22.11.77/CEW 38/AP file,
CUCAP 22.11.77/SZ5887 CEW 038 and 040/AP file,
Grimwood, T., 1984/SZ5887-NN-19, 20/AP file,
NMR 1976./SZ5887-NN-14, 18/AP file,
NMR 1976./SZ5887-NN-14, 18/AP file,
NMR 1976/SZ5887-14.18/AP file,
NMR 1976/SZ5887-NN-14, 18/AP file,
NMR 26.07.76/SZ5887:2:313 and SZ5887:3:314/AP file,
O.S. Field Investigator, (1955)
SLIDES/018080-018083/AP file,

Source: Historic England

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