Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Bowl barrow on Keysley Down, 250m west of the A350 Warminster-Shaftesbury Road

A Scheduled Monument in West Knoyle, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.1102 / 51°6'36"N

Longitude: -2.1726 / 2°10'21"W

OS Eastings: 388013.642912

OS Northings: 134556.140581

OS Grid: ST880345

Mapcode National: GBR 1WC.9K6

Mapcode Global: VH982.9C99

Entry Name: Bowl barrow on Keysley Down, 250m west of the A350 Warminster-Shaftesbury Road

Scheduled Date: 23 March 1927

Last Amended: 6 February 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013877

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12305

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: West Knoyle

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: The Deverills and Horningsham

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes a bowl barrow set on a prominent ridge-top in an area of
undulating chalk downland. The barrow mound is 20m in diameter and 1.5m high.
Although no longer visible at ground level a ditch, from which material was
quarried during the construction of the monument, surrounds the mound. This
has been infilled over the years but survives as a buried feature c.3m wide.

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 Keysley Down barrow is important as it survives well, and, with no
evidence for excavation, has considerable potential for the recovery of
archaeological remains as well as environmental evidence relating to the
period in which the monument was constructed. The significance of the site is
enhanced by the fact that numerous other round barrows survive in the area as
well as additional evidence for contemporary settlement. Such evidence
provides a clear indication of the extent to which the area was settled during
the Bronze Age period.

Source: Historic England

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