Ancient Monuments

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Bell barrow forming part of a round barrow cemetery on North Down

A Scheduled Monument in Bishops Cannings, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.4063 / 51°24'22"N

Longitude: -1.9182 / 1°55'5"W

OS Eastings: 405787.437

OS Northings: 167476.313

OS Grid: SU057674

Mapcode National: GBR 3VP.MWD

Mapcode Global: VHB43.PXSB

Entry Name: Bell barrow forming part of a round barrow cemetery on North Down

Scheduled Date: 10 November 1964

Last Amended: 30 August 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012899

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21857

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Bishops Cannings

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Bishop's Cannings and Etchilhampton St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes a Bronze Age bell barrow forming part of a round barrow
cemetery on North Down. The barrow lies at the western end of a group
containing six barrows in all, including three bowl barrows and three bell
barrows. All are situated in a slight natural trough, immediately north of the
Devizes to Beckhampton road.
The barrow mound measures 22.5m in diameter and stands up to 1.8m high. At its
base there is a 3.5m wide berm which separates it from a quarry ditch from
which material was obtained during its construction. This has become partially
infilled over the years but is still visible to a depth of 0.4m in places, and
is 3.2m across.

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 bell barrow forming part of the round barrow cemetery on North Down
survives well despite some disturbance by cultivation, and will contain
archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction and the
landscape in which it was built.

Source: Historic England


SU 06 NE 701, C.A.O., BELL BARROW, (1993)
Title: Ordnance Survey 1:10000
Source Date: 1980
SU 06 NE

Source: Historic England

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