Ancient Monuments

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Six bowl barrows 560m north of New Barn: part of a barrow cemetery on Monkton Down

A Scheduled Monument in Winterbourne Monkton, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.4496 / 51°26'58"N

Longitude: -1.8336 / 1°50'1"W

OS Eastings: 411655.739215

OS Northings: 172303.221131

OS Grid: SU116723

Mapcode National: GBR 3VD.56X

Mapcode Global: VHB3Z.5TGM

Entry Name: Six bowl barrows 560m north of New Barn: part of a barrow cemetery on Monkton Down

Scheduled Date: 17 June 1925

Last Amended: 10 July 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013331

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12264

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Winterbourne Monkton

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire


The monument includes part of a round barrow cemetery comprising six tightly
grouped barrows set above the floor of a dry valley in an area of undulating
chalk downland. The barrow mound at SU11647233 is 1m high and 25m in
diameter. Immediately to the south of this, at SU11647229, is an irregular
shaped bowl barrow 1.5m high, measuring 27m by 23m and orientated SW-NE. At
SU11667230 is a further bowl barrow 17m across and 2m high, sloping steeply
to the south but gradually to the north. At SU11667233 is a bowl barrow 20m
across and 0.5m high. At SU11697231 is a bowl barrow 24m across and 0.5m
high, while at SU11677227 is a bowl barrow 18m in diameter and 0.5m high.
All the barrow mounds are surrounded by ditches from which material used in
the construction of the monument was quarried. These either surround
individual mounds or enclose groups of mounds, but in either case have been
infilled over the years and survive as buried features c.3m wide. Some of
the mounds were partly excavated by Merewether in 1849. Finds included a
burial in one of the mounds, animal bones, pottery, flint artefacts and a
shaped sarsen.

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.

The six bowl barrows which form the core of the Monkton Down barrow
cemetery survive well despite partial excavation of the site in 1849.
They have 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 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
'Proceedings of the Archaeological Institute, Salisbury' in Proceedings of the Archaeological Institute, Salisbury, (1849), 104-5

Source: Historic England

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