Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Two bell barrows and a bowl barrow forming part of a round barrow cemetery adjacent to the Devizes to Beckhampton road on North Down

A Scheduled Monument in Bishops Cannings, Wiltshire

We don't have any photos of this monument yet. Why don't you be the first to send us one?

Upload Photo »

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »

If Google Street View is available, the image is from the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the monument. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.


Latitude: 51.4067 / 51°24'24"N

Longitude: -1.9168 / 1°55'0"W

OS Eastings: 405879.609652

OS Northings: 167524.245713

OS Grid: SU058675

Mapcode National: GBR 3VP.N6F

Mapcode Global: VHB43.QWHZ

Entry Name: Two bell barrows and a bowl barrow forming part of a round barrow cemetery adjacent to the Devizes to Beckhampton road on North Down

Scheduled Date: 10 November 1964

Last Amended: 30 August 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012900

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21871

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 two bell barrows and a bowl barrow aligned broadly
east-west and forming part of a round barrow cemetery situated immediately
north of the Devizes to Beckhampton road on North Down. The cemetery contains
six barrows in all, including three bowl barrows and three bell barrows. All
lie in a slight natural trough on the top of the down, later used as the route
of a Roman road.
At the west is the bowl barrow, sometimes mistaken for a long barrow because
ploughing has changed the shape of the mound. The barrow mound measures 28m
from east to west and 20m from north to south, standing up to 1m high. Its
original diameter is believed to have been c.25m around which lies a 2.5m wide
quarry ditch which has become infilled over the years but which will survive
buried below the modern ploughsoil. The mound was partially excavated in 1871
when a single cremation in a pottery urn was discovered.
The western of the two bell barrows has a mound which measures 19m in diameter
and stands up to 1m high. No longer visible at ground level is a 3m wide
surrounding berm beyond which lies a 3m wide ditch. The ditch has become
infilled over the years due to ploughing but will survive below the modern
The eastern bell barrow mound measures 22m in diameter and stands 1.5m high.
Its surrounding berm is c.4m wide and is enclosed by a quarry ditch 4m wide.
This too has become infilled over the years but will survive below the modern
Excluded from the scheduling are the post and wire boundary fence and the
gravel surface of the lay-by and the road surface, although the ground beneath
all of these is included.

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

A small number of areas in southern England appear to have acted as foci for
ceremonial and ritual activity during the Neolithic and Early Bronze Age
periods. Two of the best known and earliest recognised, with references in the
17th century, are around Avebury and Stonehenge, now jointly designated as a
World Heritage Site. In the Avebury area, the henge monument itself, the West
Kennet Avenue, the Sanctuary, West Kennet long barrow, Windmill Hill
causewayed enclosure and the enigmatic Silbury Hill are well-known. Whilst the
other Neolithic long barrows, the many Bronze Age round barrows and other
associated sites are less well-known, together they define one of the richest
and most varied areas of Neolithic and Bronze Age ceremonial and ritual
monuments in the country. Round barrow cemeteries date to the Bronze Age
(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 and occasionally associated
with earlier long barrows. Where investigation beyond the round barrows has
occurred, contemporary or later `flat' burials between the barrow mounds have
often been revealed. Round barrow cemeteries occur across most of lowland
England with a marked concentration in Wessex. In some cases they are
clustered around other important contemporary monuments, as is the case both
here and at Stonehenge. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major
historic element in the modern landscape, while their diversity and their
longevity as a monument type provide important information on the variety of
beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. All
examples are considered worthy of protection.

The two bell barrows and the partially excavated bowl barrow survive well
despite having been reduced by cultivation, and form a central focus to the
surrounding barrow cemetery. The bowl barrow has been partially excavated.
Results of this excavation demonstrate that the barrows will contain
archaeological and environmental evidence relating to their construction and
the landscape in which they were built.

Source: Historic England


AM 107, Saunders, AD, Wilts 108/b, (1955)
SU 06 NE 702, C.A.O., BOWL BARROW, (1992)
SU 06 NE 703, C.A.O., BELL BARROW, (1992)
SU 06 NE 704, C.A.O., BELL BARROW, (1992)
Title: Ordnance Survey 1:10000 Series
Source Date: 1980
SU 06 NE
Title: Ordnance Survey 1:10000 Series
Source Date: 1980
SU 06 NE

Source: Historic England

Other nearby scheduled monuments is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself. is a Good Stuff website.