Ancient Monuments

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Pair of bowl barrows 150m north of the Wansdyke on All Cannings Down

A Scheduled Monument in West Overton, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.3827 / 51°22'57"N

Longitude: -1.8528 / 1°51'10"W

OS Eastings: 410337.099734

OS Northings: 164856.465835

OS Grid: SU103648

Mapcode National: GBR 3W5.6DD

Mapcode Global: VHB4B.THVX

Entry Name: Pair of bowl barrows 150m north of the Wansdyke on All Cannings Down

Scheduled Date: 19 January 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013755

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21882

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: West Overton

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire


The monument includes a pair of bowl barrows aligned north east to south west
and situated 150m north of the Wansdyke on All Cannings Down. They were
originally part of a small group of three barrows situated close together. The
exact location of the third barrow is not known.
The barrow mounds have been reduced by cultivation and now form a single
spread of material c.16m east-west and 14m north-south standing up to 0.2m
high. However, it is known from aerial photographs that both barrows
originally had mounds measuring c.12m in diameter. These were surrounded by
quarry ditches from which material was obtained during their construction.
These merged together between the two mounds and will survive as buried
features c.2m wide. In the late 19th century two sherds of Beaker pottery and
nine sherds of Bronze Age pottery were found on the site of the barrows. These
are now in the Devizes Museum.
Excluded from the scheduling is the post and wire fence which runs north-south
across the eastern edge of the monument, although the ground beneath is

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 monuments in the
country. 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, normally 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 and around 320 in the Avebury area. This group of
monuments will provide important information on the development of this area
during the Late Neolithic and Bronze Age periods. All surviving examples are
considered worthy of protection.

The pair of bowl barrows 150m north of the Wansdyke is a rare survival
nationally. Despite having been reduced by cultivation they are known to
survive in the form of earthworks and buried features and will contain
archaeological and environmental remains relating to their construction and
the landscape in which they were built.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Meyrick, O, Two beaker and nine Bronze Age sherds from barrow 191(6)
Meyrick, O, Two beaker and nine Bronze Age sherds from barrow 191(6)
Grinsell, LV, 'A History of Wiltshire' in A History of Wiltshire, (1957), 191
Grinsell, LV, 'A History of Wiltshire' in A History of Wiltshire, (1957), 191
274-5 FRAMES, R.A.F., C/73/071,
SU 16 SW 610, C.A.O., Two confluent bowl barrows, (1978)

Source: Historic England

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