Ancient Monuments

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Bell barrow forming part of a round barrow cemetery 135m ENE of Baltic Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Bishops Cannings, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.399 / 51°23'56"N

Longitude: -1.9354 / 1°56'7"W

OS Eastings: 404591.037344

OS Northings: 166662.798711

OS Grid: SU045666

Mapcode National: GBR 3VV.9HK

Mapcode Global: VHB49.D3PC

Entry Name: Bell barrow forming part of a round barrow cemetery 135m ENE of Baltic Farm

Scheduled Date: 10 November 1964

Last Amended: 11 January 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013776

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21890

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 Bronze Age bell barrow, forming part of a round barrow
cemetery situated at Baltic Farm on North Down. The cemetery contains two bowl
barrows and three bell barrows. This is one of a number of cemeteries situated
in this area of downland.
The barrow has a mound which originally measured c.13m in diameter and stood
up to 2m high. This has spread across part of the c.2m wide berm which
surrounded it so that the visible mound now measures c.20m in diameter and
stands 1.5m high. The quarry ditch, from which material was obtained during
the construction of the mound, is no longer visible at ground level but
survives as a buried feature c.2m wide.
The barrow was partially excavated last century when a primary cremation
burial was discovered near the centre of the mound.

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 bell barrow forming part of the Baltic Farm barrow cemetery is a well
preserved example of its class. Part excavation of the barrow has demonstrated
that archaeological remains will survive providing evidence for its
construction and the landscape in which it was built.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire, (1957), 208
Wiltshire Arch. And Nat. History Society, , 'Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine' in Report and discussion, , Vol. 6, (), 317-336
Title: Ordnance Survey 6" Series
Source Date: 1960

Source: Historic England

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