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Long barrow and abutting bowl barrow 700m WSW of Beckhampton Buildings, forming the focus of a barrow cemetery on North Down

A Scheduled Monument in Bishops Cannings, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.4086 / 51°24'30"N

Longitude: -1.9057 / 1°54'20"W

OS Eastings: 406652.761871

OS Northings: 167731.779603

OS Grid: SU066677

Mapcode National: GBR 3VP.R08

Mapcode Global: VHB43.XVCK

Entry Name: Long barrow and abutting bowl barrow 700m WSW of Beckhampton Buildings, forming the focus of a barrow cemetery on North Down

Scheduled Date: 10 March 1925

Last Amended: 13 September 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013239

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21861

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 Neolithic long barrow and a Bronze Age bowl barrow
situated 700m WSW of Beckhampton Buildings. The bowl barrow appears central to
a wider dispersed round barrow cemetery which contains at least 24 barrows.
The cemetery appears to have developed around the earlier long barrow.
The long barrow has a mound orientated north east to south west which measures
c.40m long and up to 10m wide and is no more than 0.2m above the present
ground level. The mound is flanked by two parallel quarry ditches which are no
longer visible at ground level but are known to survive as buried features.
These measure 40m long and c.6m wide.
Immediately north east of the long barrow, and partly overlapping with it, is
a bowl barrow, the mound of which measures 18m across and is surrounded by a
ditch c.2m wide.
Both of these monuments were partly excavated in 1964 when three ox skulls
were found in the long barrow as well as a wattle frame used in its
construction. There was also evidence of agricultural and funerary activity on
the site before the barrows were built.

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 most
rich and varied areas of Neolithic and Bronze Age ceremonial and ritual
monuments in the country. Long barrows were constructed as earthen or drystone
mounds with flanking ditches and acted as funerary monuments during the Early
and Middle Neolithic periods (3400-2400 BC). They represent the burial places
of Britain's early farming communities and, as such, are amongst the oldest
field monuments surviving visibly in the present landscape. Where
investigated, long barrows appear to have been used for communal burial, often
with only parts of the human remains having been selected for interment.
Certain sites provide evidence for several phases of funerary monument
preceding the barrow and it is probable that long barrows acted as important
ritual sites for local communities over a considerable period of time. Some
500 long barrows and long cairns, their counterparts in the uplands, are
recorded in England of which fifteen survive in the Avebury area. These
represent an important group for understanding the historical context within
which Avebury developed during the Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age
periods; all are considered to be worthy of protection.

Part excavation of the long barrow 700m WSW of Beckhampton Buildings has
confirmed that it will contain archaeological and environmental remains
relating to its construction, function and the earlier landscape on which it
was built.
As is often the case, the long barrow formed the focus for later Bronze Age
funerary monuments, in this case a dispersed round barrow cemetery, dating to
the Bronze Age (2000-700 BC).
Barrow cemeteries 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
at Avebury and 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
The bowl barrow situated near the northern end of the long barrow is roughly
central to the dispersed North Down cemetery. Despite reduction by cultivation
part excavation has confirmed the survival of buried archaeological remains
relating to its construction and the landscape in which it was built.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Ashbee, P, 'Proceedings' in Long Barrow, , Vol. 45, (), 228-250
Ashbee, P, 'Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society' in Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society: Volume 45, (), 228-250
Smith, I F, 'Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine' in Long Barrow North-East Of Shepherd's Shore On Bishops Canning Dn, , Vol. 60, (), 132
Smith, I F, 'Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine' in Long Barrow North-East Of Shepherd's Shore On Bishops Canning Dn, , Vol. 60, (), 63
SU06NE 108, C.A.O., Long barrow, (1980)
Title: Ordnance Survey 1:10000 Series
Source Date: 1981
SU 06 NE

Source: Historic England

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