Ancient Monuments

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Linear barrow cemetery on Hackpen Hill

A Scheduled Monument in Winterbourne Monkton, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.453 / 51°27'10"N

Longitude: -1.8287 / 1°49'43"W

OS Eastings: 411997.87618

OS Northings: 172678.128922

OS Grid: SU119726

Mapcode National: GBR 4WK.SLH

Mapcode Global: VHB3Z.8R20

Entry Name: Linear barrow cemetery on Hackpen Hill

Scheduled Date: 9 October 1981

Last Amended: 31 July 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013315

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12261

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Winterbourne Monkton

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire


The monument includes a linear round barrow cemetery set on and below the
crest of Hackpen Hill in an area of undulating chalk downland. The cemetery
comprises five bowl barrows aligned NW-SE and has maximum dimensions of 180m
from end to end. The barrow mound at SU11957272 appears as a low earthwork
c.25m across and 0.3m high. The mound at SU11977269 is 29m across and
stands to a height of 3m. A central hollow 8m across and 0.5m deep is
evidence of an early excavation of the site by Passmore in 1921. Finds
included a cremation burial in a large upturned urn. The barrow at
SU11997267 is 21m in diameter and 1.5m high, while that at SU12027266 is
20m across and 1m high. At the south-eastern end of the cemetery
(SU12067264) is a barrow mound 15m across and 1m high. Although no longer
visible at ground level, annular ditches surround each barrow mound. It was
from these ditches that the material used in the construction of the barrow
mounds was quarried.
The ditches have been filled in over the years and survive as buried
features varying in width between 2 and 3m.

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

Round barrow cemeteries date to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They 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, occasionally associated with earlier
long barrows. Where large scale investigation has been undertaken around them,
contemporary or later "flat" burials between the barrow mounds have often been
revealed. Round barrow cemeteries occur across most of lowland Britain, with a
marked concentration in Wessex. In some cases, they are clustered around other
important contemporary monuments such as henges. Often occupying prominent
locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape, whilst
their diversity and their longevity as a monument type provide important
information on the variety of beliefs and social organisation amongst early
prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period
and a substantial proportion of surviving or partly-surviving examples are
considered worthy of protection.

Despite cultivation of the sensitive areas between the barrow mounds and
partial excavation of at least one of the mounds in antiquity, much of the
Hackpen Hill barrow cemetery remains intact. It has significant potential
for the recovery of archaeological evidence for the nature and duration of
use of the monument and the environment within which it was constructed. The
importance of the monument is enhanced by the fact that numerous other round
barrows and round barrow cemeteries survive in the area as well as
additional evidence for contemporary settlement. This illustrates the
intensity with which the area was settled during the Bronze Age period.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
'Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine' in Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine: Volume 42, (), 247

Source: Historic England

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