Ancient Monuments

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Bowl barrow 1050m north-west of Hill Copse, Wexcombe Down

A Scheduled Monument in Grafton, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.3213 / 51°19'16"N

Longitude: -1.6085 / 1°36'30"W

OS Eastings: 427376.529755

OS Northings: 158097.425397

OS Grid: SU273580

Mapcode National: GBR 5ZX.24Y

Mapcode Global: VHC2B.21HW

Entry Name: Bowl barrow 1050m north-west of Hill Copse, Wexcombe Down

Scheduled Date: 9 October 1981

Last Amended: 13 January 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013326

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12255

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Grafton

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire


The monument includes a bowl barrow set below the crest of a gentle NW-facing
slope in an area of undulating chalk downland. The barrow mound survives as
a low earthwork 1m high and 12m in diameter. Surrounding the barrow mound is
a ditch, from which material was quarried during the construction of the
monument. This has filled in over the years but survives as a low earthwork
0.3m deep and 2m across to the NE and SW of the mound, and as a buried feature

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

The Wexcombe Down bowl barrow survives well with no evidence for excavation of
the site. It has good 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 significance of the monument is enhanced by the
fact that numerous other burial monuments survive in the immediate area. Such
groups of monuments give an indication of the intensity with which areas were
settled during the Bronze Age period as well as the variety of beliefs and
organisation present within society at that time.

Source: Historic England

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