Ancient Monuments

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Round barrow cemetery at Brimpton Common

A Scheduled Monument in Brimpton, West Berkshire

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Latitude: 51.3598 / 51°21'35"N

Longitude: -1.1722 / 1°10'19"W

OS Eastings: 457731.601968

OS Northings: 162627.207802

OS Grid: SU577626

Mapcode National: GBR 93W.QFR

Mapcode Global: VHCZT.M2NX

Entry Name: Round barrow cemetery at Brimpton Common

Scheduled Date: 26 August 1924

Last Amended: 10 July 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012808

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12074

County: West Berkshire

Civil Parish: Brimpton

Traditional County: Berkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Berkshire

Church of England Parish: Aldermaston

Church of England Diocese: Oxford


The monument includes a linear round barrow cemetery on Brimpton Common. The
cemetery comprises four barrows, three of which are bell barrows and one a
bowl barrow. The barrows are orientated ENE-WSW with a maximum distance of
250m from one end to the other. The barrow at SU57636258 is a bowl barrow
surviving as a low earthwork. It stands to a height of 0.5m and has a
diameter of 30m. The barrow at SU57706261 is a bell barrow visible on both
sides of a fenceline. The site has a diameter of 30m and survives to a
height of 1m. Surrounding the mound are a narrow berm and an outer ditch from
which material for the mound was quarried. This survives as a slight
earthwork in places but as a buried feature elsewhere. The bell barrow at
SU57756265 has an overall diameter of 35m, is 2m high and comprises a
central mound, narrow berm and an outer ditch 4m wide and 0.4m deep. A
further bell barrow at SU57816267 has a diameter of 60m. The central mound is
25m across and stands to a height of 1.5m. Surrounding the mound is a berm
12m wide and a ditch 5m wide and 0.3m deep.

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 Brimpton Common barrow cemetery is of particular importance as it
survives well and, with no evidence for formal excavation of the site and
despite disturbance to the eastern barrow mound, much of the monument
has considerable archaeological potential. The monument forms the core of a
wider barrow cemetery which includes two further bell barrows. Such groups
give a clear indication of the intensity with which areas were settled
during the Bronze Age period.

Source: Historic England


Berkshire SMR (1036.04),
NAR (SU 56 SE 4),

Source: Historic England

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