Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Bowl barrow 800m south of Hemp Knoll

A Scheduled Monument in Bishops Cannings, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.3946 / 51°23'40"N

Longitude: -1.8993 / 1°53'57"W

OS Eastings: 407105.101

OS Northings: 166178.860022

OS Grid: SU071661

Mapcode National: GBR 3VX.DND

Mapcode Global: VHB4B.169Q

Entry Name: Bowl barrow 800m south of Hemp Knoll

Scheduled Date: 16 July 1956

Last Amended: 18 January 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013026

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12172

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 bowl barrow set below the crest of a gentle east-
facing slope in an area of undulating chalk downland. The barrow mound stands
to a height of 0.5m and has a diameter of 23m. Surrounding the mound is a
ditch from which material for the mound was quarried. This survives as a low
earthwork 2m wide and 0.2m deep on the south side of the mound, and as a
buried feature elsewhere. The site was partially excavated between 1855 and
1859 revealing a cremation burial within the mound.

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

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

Despite partial excavation, much of the bowl barrow south of Hemp Knoll
remains intact and has significant 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
importance of the monument.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
'Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine' in Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine, , Vol. 49, (1958)

Source: Historic England

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