Ancient Monuments

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Bell barrow and bowl barrow 500m NNW of Long Orchard

A Scheduled Monument in Winterslow, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.1166 / 51°6'59"N

Longitude: -1.6734 / 1°40'24"W

OS Eastings: 422957.069509

OS Northings: 135307.406895

OS Grid: SU229353

Mapcode National: GBR 624.XDG

Mapcode Global: VHC37.Y66B

Entry Name: Bell barrow and bowl barrow 500m NNW of Long Orchard

Scheduled Date: 13 March 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013984

English Heritage Legacy ID: 26760

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Winterslow

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Winterslow All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes a bell barrow and a bowl barrow, part of the extensive
Winterslow Hut group of round barrows which lie between Porton Down and Easton
Down. The barrows, the line of which is orientated approximately north-south
lie on a gentle south facing slope.
The bell barrow, the more southerly of the two barrows, has a central area
c.30m in diameter which rises to a height of 1.2m. Within this central area
there are no clear indications of the edge of the mound and its junction with
the sloping berm. Surrounding the mound and visible to the north and east is a
ditch 2.5m wide which, where not visible on the surface, will survive as a
buried feature. Traces of a bank lying outside the ditch were noted by Stevens
and Stone in the 1930s but are no longer visible.
This barrow is the `bell barrow of chalk' excavated by the Rev A B Hutchins in
1814 and found to contain an early Beaker period burial in a chalk-cut
grave. The skeleton, thought to be of a male, was accompanied by a copper
dagger, a beaker, a slate wristguard and two barbed and tanged flint
arrowheads. Considerable evidence for secondary burial was also found. On the
south side of the barrow, 18 inches(0.5m) below the surface was a cairn of
flints within which lay an inverted collared urn covering a cremation. With
the bones, which appeared to have been wrapped in cloth, were a bronze awl and
razor, 27 amber beads and a substance later identified as eyebrow hair. Within
the same cairn of flints was a smaller collared urn containing only bones and
flints. Later accounts of the excavation refer to an additional burial in the
centre of the mound; a cremation with `a mixed metal spearhead..four iron
arrowheads and a small circular earthen vase'. It is possible that the iron
arrowheads represent grave goods from a later inserted burial, wrongly
associated with Bronze Age material due to the methods of excavation employed
at this time.
The bowl barrow, which lies immediately to the north of the bell barrow, has a
mound 19m in diameter and 0.7m high. The ditch surrounding the mound is not
visible on the surface but will survive as a buried feature 2m wide.
Excluded from the scheduling are all archaeological site markers, although the
ground beneath them 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

Since 1916 the Porton Down Range has been used for military purposes. As on
the Salisbury Plain Training Area, this has meant that it has not been subject
to the intensive arable farming seen elsewhere on the Wessex chalk. Porton, as
a result, is one of very few surviving areas of uncultivated chalk downland in
England and contains a range of well-preserved archaeological sites, many of
Neolithic or Bronze Age date. These include long barrows and round barrows,
flint mines, and evidence for settlement, land division and agriculture.
Bell barrows, the most visually impressive form of round barrow, are funerary
monuments dating to the Early and Middle Bronze Age, with most examples
belonging to the period 1500-1100 BC. They occur either in isolation or in
round barrow cemeteries and were constructed as single or multiple mounds
covering burials, often in pits, and surrounded by an enclosure ditch. The
burials are frequently accompanied by weapons, personal ornaments and pottery
and appear to be those of aristocratic individuals, usually men. Bell barrows
(particularly multiple barrows) are rare nationally, with less than 250 known
examples, most of which are in Wessex. Their richness in terms of grave goods
provides evidence for chronological and cultural links amongst early
prehistoric communities over most of southern England as well as providing an
insight into their beliefs and social organisation. As a particularly rare
form of round barrow, all identified bell barrows would normally be considered
to be of national importance.

The bell barrow 500m NNW west of Long Orchard is a well preserved example of
its class with, as demonstrated by part excavation, a long and rich burial
history. Despite the disturbance caused by excavation, the barrow will contain
archaeological remains providing evidence for Bronze Age and later burial
practices, economy and environment.
The bowl barrow, although of a more common class of Bronze Age funerary
monument than the bell barrow, is a well preserved example which will also
contain important archaeological remains.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Clarke, D L, The Beaker Pottery of Great Britain and Ireland, (1970), 297
Stevens, F, Stone, J F S, 'Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine' in The Barrows of Winterslow, (1937), 174-82
Stevens, F, Stone, J F S, 'Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine' in The Barrows of Winterslow, (1937), 174-82
Stoves, J L, 'Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine' in Report On Hair From The Barrows Of Winterslow, , Vol. Vol 52, (1947), 126-7

Source: Historic England

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