Ancient Monuments

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Pair of Bronze Age bowl barrows 400m south west of Beckhampton Buildings, forming part of a cemetery on North Down

A Scheduled Monument in Bishops Cannings, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.409 / 51°24'32"N

Longitude: -1.9013 / 1°54'4"W

OS Eastings: 406962.306551

OS Northings: 167781.886032

OS Grid: SU069677

Mapcode National: GBR 3VQ.L4H

Mapcode Global: VHB44.0V76

Entry Name: Pair of Bronze Age bowl barrows 400m south west of Beckhampton Buildings, forming part of a cemetery on North Down

Scheduled Date: 11 February 1963

Last Amended: 18 December 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013753

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21880

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 pair of Bronze Age bowl barrows situated 400m south
west of Beckhampton Buildings. The barrows form part of a dispersed barrow
cemetery which contains at least 24 barrows. It is one of a number of
cemeteries located on the Downs.
The north eastern barrow has a mound which survives to a diameter of 15m and
stands up to 0.5m high. However, it is known from earlier records that the
barrow originally measured at least 20m across and is surrounded by a quarry
ditch from which material was obtained during its construction. This ditch has
become infilled over the years but will survive as a buried feature c.2m wide.
The south western barrow mound lies under and to either side of a later field
boundary: the larger western section has been reduced by cultivation to less
than 0.1m high; the eastern half stands up to 0.2m high. However, it is known
that this mound originally measured at least 25m in diameter and stood 1m
high. Surrounding the original extent of the mound is a quarry ditch which
will survive as a buried feature 2.5m wide.
Excluded from the scheduling is the post and wire fence which marks the
boundary between two tenancies, although the ground beneath is included.

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 richest
and most varied areas of Neolithic and Bronze Age ceremonial and ritual
monuments in the country. Round barrow cemeteries date to the Bronze Age
(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 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
here and at 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 communities. All
examples are considered worthy of protection.

The pair of bowl barrows 400m south west of Beckhampton Buildings forms part
of a large cemetery situated on North Down.
Despite having been reduced by cultivation, both survive as extant monuments
and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the
cemetery and the landscape in which it was built.

Source: Historic England


Title: Wiltshire SMR Map Overlay
Source Date: 1961
Sheet SU 06 NE
Title: Wiltshire SMR Ordnance Survey Overlay
Source Date: 1961
Sheet SU 06 NE
WILTSHIRE A.M 107/e, Saunders, A., AM 107, (1955)
Wiltshire A.M. 107/d, Saunders, A., AM 107, (1955)

Source: Historic England

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