Ancient Monuments

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Bell barrow 250m north-west of Larkwhistle Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Brimpton, West Berkshire

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Latitude: 51.3627 / 51°21'45"N

Longitude: -1.1832 / 1°10'59"W

OS Eastings: 456965.642823

OS Northings: 162939.015992

OS Grid: SU569629

Mapcode National: GBR 93W.FPJ

Mapcode Global: VHCZT.F0VP

Entry Name: Bell barrow 250m north-west of Larkwhistle Farm

Scheduled Date: 26 August 1924

Last Amended: 10 July 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012948

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12117

County: West Berkshire

Civil Parish: Brimpton

Built-Up Area: Brimpton Common

Traditional County: Berkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Berkshire

Church of England Parish: Aldermaston

Church of England Diocese: Oxford


The monument includes a large bell barrow surviving in a private garden 250m
north-west of Larkwhistle Farm. The monument has a maximum diameter of 60m.
The central mound is 25m across and survives to a height of 2.5m. This is
surrounded by a berm c.5m wide, a bank c.5m wide and 0.5m high and a wide
shallow ditch 8m across and up to 0.4m deep. The ditch, from which mound
material was quarried, is visible as an earthwork on all but the north-west
side of the monument where it survives as a buried feature.
The barrow is situated 600m north-west of a linear barrow cemetery on Brimpton

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

Bell barrows, the most visually impressive form of round barrow, are funerary
monuments dating to the Early and Middle Bronze Age, with most examples
belonging to the period 1500-1100 BC. They occur either in isolation or in
round barrow cemeteries and were constructed as single or multiple mounds
covering burials, often in pits, and surrounded by an enclosure ditch. The
burials are frequently accompanied by weapons, personal ornaments and pottery
and appear to be those of aristocratic individuals, usually men. Bell barrows
(particularly multiple barrows) are rare nationally, with less than 250 known
examples, most of which are in Wessex. Their richness in terms of grave goods
provides evidence for chronological and cultural links amongst early
prehistoric communities over most of southern and eastern England as well as
providing an insight into their beliefs and social organisation. As a
particularly rare form of round barrow, all identified bell barrows would
normally be considered to be of national importance.

The Larkwhistle Farm bell barrow is particularly important as it survives well
and appears as an outlier to a wider barrow cemetery 600m to the south-east.
Such cemeteries give a clear indication of the intensity with which areas were
settled during the Bronze Age period. With no evidence of formal excavation,
the site also has considerable archaeological potential.

Source: Historic England


Berkshire SMR,

Source: Historic England

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