Ancient Monuments

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Round barrow cemetery on Wash Common.

A Scheduled Monument in Newbury, West Berkshire

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Latitude: 51.381 / 51°22'51"N

Longitude: -1.3486 / 1°20'54"W

OS Eastings: 445431.648311

OS Northings: 164861.414221

OS Grid: SU454648

Mapcode National: GBR 824.7W8

Mapcode Global: VHCZJ.KKX5

Entry Name: Round barrow cemetery on Wash Common.

Scheduled Date: 9 October 1981

Last Amended: 10 July 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012811

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12075

County: West Berkshire

Civil Parish: Newbury

Built-Up Area: Newbury

Traditional County: Berkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Berkshire

Church of England Parish: Newbury St George

Church of England Diocese: Oxford


The monument includes two bowl barrows and a disc barrow, set within a
barrow cemetery on level ground at Wash Common, Newbury. All are situated
within 150m of each other and are broadly aligned from SE to NW. The disc
barrow at SU45426491 survives as a low circular earthen bank 0.3m high with
an external ditch c.2m wide and 0.4m deep. The overall diameter of the
earthwork is 50m. The bowl barrow at SU45446484 is situated immediately to
the south of the disc barrow. It is a large ditched mound 2.5m high and
25m across. Surrounding the mound is a ditch from which material for the
mound was quarried. This appears as an earthwork to the west of the mound
where it survives to a width of 4m and is 0.4m deep. The bowl barrow at
SU45486480 survives as a slight earthwork with a diameter of c.22m, visible
in low light. All the barrows were believed by local tradition to cover the
remains of soldiers killed in the first Battle of Newbury (1643) fought
nearby. Memorial stones to this effect are situated on two barrow mounds
c.100m to the east.

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 Wash Common barrow cemetery is of particular importance as it survives
well, contains a disc barrow which are relatively uncommon in this area and,
with no evidence for formal excavation, has considerable archaeological
potential. The monument forms the core of a wider barrow cemetery which
extends a further 100m to the east. Such concentrations give an indication
of the intensity with which areas were settled during the Bronze Age period.

Source: Historic England


Berkshire SMR (1046.02),
NAR (SU 46 SE 5),

Source: Historic England

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