Ancient Monuments

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Pair of round barrows and section of linear earthwork north east of the gallops on West Down

A Scheduled Monument in Cherhill, Wiltshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.4221 / 51°25'19"N

Longitude: -1.8972 / 1°53'49"W

OS Eastings: 407245.435915

OS Northings: 169239.752897

OS Grid: SU072692

Mapcode National: GBR 3VJ.TCN

Mapcode Global: VHB44.2JD4

Entry Name: Pair of round barrows and section of linear earthwork NE of the gallops on West Down

Scheduled Date: 7 May 1957

Last Amended: 24 April 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014028

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21894

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Cherhill

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Details

The monument includes two Bronze Age round barrows and a section of linear
earthwork situated on a south-facing slope, north east of the gallops on West
Down. The linear earthwork and the barrows are aligned roughly NNW-SSE.
The western of the two barrows is a saucer barrow and has a mound 15m in
diameter and 0.9m high. This is surrounded by a wide, shallow quarry ditch
from which material was obtained during its construction. This is 3.5m wide
and 0.3m deep. Beyond the ditch lies an outer bank 4m across and 0.2m high.
This outer bank overlies the western edge of the adjacent bowl barrow, showing
that it was built after its neighbour.
The bowl barrow has a mound which measures 11m in diameter and stands up to
1.3m high. It is surrounded by a 2m wide quarry ditch which has become
infilled over the years. However, it remains visible at ground level as a
brighter ring of vegetation growth and is also clearly visible on aerial
photographs.
A 280m long section of linear earthwork aligned from NNW-SSE, lies to the
north of the two barrows and runs across the north west edge of the saucer
barrow's outer bank. The earthwork has a bank which measures from 6m to 7m
wide and stands up to 1.2m high. To the north (upslope) is a ditch which
measures from 4m to 5m across and although partially infilled, is still open
to a depth of 1m in places. This section is part of a longer linear boundary
system which runs for a distance of c.2.3km across the Downs and is believed
to represent a Late Bronze Age or Early Iron Age ranch boundary.

MAP EXTRACT
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.

Saucer barrows are funerary monuments of the Early Bronze Age. They occur
either in isolation or in round barrow cemeteries and were constructed as a
circular area of ground defined by a bank and internal ditch and largely
occupied by a single low, squat mound covering one or more burials, usually in
a pit. Saucer barrows are one of the rarest recognised forms of round barrow,
with about 60 examples nationally, most of which are in Wessex. The presence
of grave goods within the barrows provides important evidence for
chronological and cultural links amongst prehistoric communities over a wide
area of southern England, as well as providing an insight into their beliefs
and social organisation.
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. Often occupying prominent positions, they are a major historic
element in the modern landscape. There are over 10,000 nationally and around
320 in the Avebury area. This group of monuments will provide important
information on the development of the area during the Late Neolithic and
Bronze Age periods. All surviving examples are considered worthy of
protection.
Linear boundaries are substantial earthwork features comprising single or
multiple ditches and banks which may extend over distances varying between
less than 1km to over 10km. They survive as earthworks or as linear features
visible as cropmarks on aerial photographs or as a combination of both. The
evidence of excavation and study of associated monuments demonstrate that
their construction spans the millennium from the Middle Bronze Age, although
they may have been reused later. They are of considerable importance for the
analysis of settlement and land use in the Bronze Age; all well preserved
examples will normally merit statutory protection.
This group of two round barrows and a section of linear boundary all survive
as good examples of their respective classes and will contain archaeological
and environmental evidence relating to their construction, functions and the
development of the surrounding landscape from the Early Bronze Age through to
the Late Iron Age.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
SU 06 NE 135, R.C.H.M.(E), Linear boundary bank and ditch, (1973)
SU 06 NE 135, R.C.H.M.(E), Linear boundary, (1973)
SU 06 NE 649 referenced by SMR, C.A.O., A17/219062,
SU 06 NE 649, C.A.O., Saucer barrow, (1973)
SU 06 NE 650, C.A.O., Ditched bowl barrow, (1973)
SU 06 NE 806, C.A.O., Linear bank & ditch, (1973)
SU06NE 649, C.A.O., Saucer barrow, (1973)
SU06NE 650, C.A.O., Ditched bowl barrow, (1973)
SU06NE 806, C.A.O., Linear ditch and bank, (1973)

Source: Historic England

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