Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Two bowl barrows 400m south of Tanhill Penning

A Scheduled Monument in Avebury, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.3903 / 51°23'24"N

Longitude: -1.864 / 1°51'50"W

OS Eastings: 409560.622303

OS Northings: 165700.37529

OS Grid: SU095657

Mapcode National: GBR 3VY.X3W

Mapcode Global: VHB4B.MBY2

Entry Name: Two bowl barrows 400m south of Tanhill Penning

Scheduled Date: 7 January 1958

Last Amended: 11 March 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013024

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12184

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Avebury

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: All Cannings All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes two adjacent bowl barrows, orientated east-west, and set
on a local promontary in an area of undulating chalk downland. The eastern
barrow mound is 1m high and has a maximum diameter of 13m. The western mound
is 20m in diameter and stands to a height of 1.5m. Although no longer visible
at ground level, both barrows are surrounded by ditches from which mound
material was quarried. These have become infilled over the years but each
survives as a buried feature some 3m in width.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Bowl barrows, the most numerous form of round barrow, are funerary monuments
dating from the Late Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age, with most
examples belonging to the period 2400-1500 BC. They were constructed as
earthen or rubble mounds, sometimes ditched, which covered single or multiple
burials. They occur either in isolation or grouped as cemeteries and often
acted as a focus for burials in later periods. Often superficially similar,
although differing widely in size, they exhibit regional variations in form
and a diversity of burial practices. There are over 10,000 surviving bowl
barrows recorded nationally (many more have already been destroyed), occurring
across most of lowland Britain. Often occupying prominent locations, they are
a major historic element in the modern landscape and their considerable
variation of form and longevity as a monument type provide important
information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisations amongst early
prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period
and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of

The pair of bowl barrows south of Tanhill Penning survive well and have
considerable archaeological potential. The presence of numerous other barrows
and additional evidence for contemporary settlement in the area of Bishop's
Cannings Down provide a clear indication of the intensity with which the area
was settled during the Bronze Age, further enhancing the significance of the

Source: Historic England

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