Ancient Monuments

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Three bowl barrows 600m south-west of Knap Cottage

A Scheduled Monument in Alton, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.3729 / 51°22'22"N

Longitude: -1.8384 / 1°50'18"W

OS Eastings: 411345.704524

OS Northings: 163770.214398

OS Grid: SU113637

Mapcode National: GBR 3W5.XQG

Mapcode Global: VHB4C.2RZF

Entry Name: Three bowl barrows 600m south-west of Knap Cottage

Scheduled Date: 23 March 1927

Last Amended: 17 January 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013057

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12187

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Alton

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire


The monument includes three adjacent bowl barrows, orientated north-
south, and set on gently sloping ground 400m north of a steep south-
facing escarpment. The northern barrow stands to a height of 1m and is
20m in diameter. It was partially excavated by Thurnham in 1879, finds
including traces of a cremation burial. The central mound is 0.5m
high and 8m in diameter. Partial excavation by Thurnham in 1879
revealed traces of a cremation burial. The southern mound is 1m high
and 13m in diameter. The site was partially excavated in 1853 although
no records are known.
Although no longer visible at ground level, all three mounds are
surrounded by ditches from which the mound material was quarried.
These have become infilled over the years but survive as buried
features b.3m wide around the northern and southern mounds and as an
earthwork 3m wide and 0.3m deep around the central mound.

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 mare have already been destroyed), occurring
across most of lowland Britain. Their ubiquity and their tendency to
occupy prominent locations makes them 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 organisation amongst early prehistoric
communities. They are particularly representative of their period and
a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy
of protection.
Despite partial excavation, much of each of the Knap Cottage bowl
barrows survives intact and the group has significant archaeological
potential. The presence of numerous other barrows and additional
evidence for contemporary settlement on and around Bishop's Cannings
Down provides a clear indication of the intensity with which the area
was settled during the Bronze Age, further enhancing the significance
of the monument.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
'Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine' in Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine: Volume 6, , Vol. 6, (), 325

Source: Historic England

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