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Two bowl barrows: part of a barrow cemetery on Wash Common.

A Scheduled Monument in Newbury, West Berkshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.3802 / 51°22'48"N

Longitude: -1.3463 / 1°20'46"W

OS Eastings: 445587.294685

OS Northings: 164772.407741

OS Grid: SU455647

Mapcode National: GBR 824.GF9

Mapcode Global: VHCZJ.MK3T

Entry Name: Two bowl barrows: part of a barrow cemetery on Wash Common.

Scheduled Date: 9 October 1981

Last Amended: 10 July 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013245

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12235

County: West Berkshire

Civil Parish: Newbury

Built-Up Area: Newbury

Traditional County: Berkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Berkshire

Church of England Parish: Newbury St George

Church of England Diocese: Oxford

Details

The monument includes two bowl barrows aligned SW-NE, separated by a
distance of some 40m and set on level ground on Wash Common, Newbury. The
western barrow has a diameter of 24m and stands to a height of 1.5m. The
eastern barrow survives to a height of 2m and has a maximum diameter of 24m.
Both are surrounded by a ring of rich grassland which indicates the extent
of the 3m wide ditches from which material was quarried during the
construction of the monument. This has been infilled over the years but its
survival as a buried feature is demonstrated by the improved grass cover
which benefits from the additional moisture a buried ditch provides.
The barrows are part of a wider barrow cemetery dispersed over an area of
150m. According to local tradition, the barrows are believed to cover the
remains of soldiers killed in the first Battle of Newbury in 1643 fought
nearby. Memorial stones to this effect are situated on the barrow mounds and
are included as part of the scheduling.

MAP EXTRACT
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
protection.

The Wash Common barrows are of particular importance as, with no evidence of
previous excavation, they survive well and have potential for the recovery
of archaeological remains. Their significance is enhanced by their inclusion
within a wider group of barrows. Such barrow cemeteries give an indication
of the intensity with which areas were settled during prehistory and provide
evidence for the range of beliefs and nature of social organisation in the
Bronze Age.

Source: Historic England

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