Ancient Monuments

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Linear round barrow cemetery 200m ENE of West Kennett long barrow

A Scheduled Monument in Avebury, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.4094 / 51°24'33"N

Longitude: -1.8466 / 1°50'47"W

OS Eastings: 410765.670366

OS Northings: 167825.162056

OS Grid: SU107678

Mapcode National: GBR 3VS.MYM

Mapcode Global: VHB44.YT4Z

Entry Name: Linear round barrow cemetery 200m ENE of West Kennett long barrow

Scheduled Date: 13 May 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014034

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28101

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Avebury

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire


The monument includes a linear round barrow cemetery situated 200m ENE of West
Kennet long barrow. The cemetery is aligned east-west along the ridge and
overlooks the valley of the River Kennet, to the north. The cemetery contains
five closely spaced barrows, all of which have been levelled by cultivation.
It is one of a number of Bronze Age round barrow cemeteries situated on the
Downs south of Avebury.
All five barrow mounds have been levelled by cultivation and are no longer
visible at ground level. However, all five are clearly visible on aerial
photographs and are known to measure from 15m to 23m in diameter. Surrounding
the original extent of the mounds are quarry ditches from which material was
obtained during their construction. These have become infilled over the years
but survive as buried features between 2m and 5m wide.
The three larger barrows lie at the centre of the line with a smaller barrow
at either end. It is known that the smaller barrow at the western end of the
group was still visible as a 0.3m high earthwork in 1957.
The barrows were the subject of a survey by the Royal Commission on the
Historical Monuments of England in 1992.

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 five plough-levelled barrows forming the cemetery ENE of West Kennet long
barrow are clearly visible on aerial photographs and will contain
archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the cemetery and the
landscape in which it was built.

Source: Historic England


East Kennett - West Kennett 1:2500, R.C.H.M.(E), Archaeological evidence from aerial photographs, (1992)
East Kennett - West Kennett 1:2500, R.C.H.M.(E), Archaeological evidence from aerial photographs, (1992)
East Kennett - West Kennett 1:2500, R.C.H.M.(E), Archaeological evidence from aerial photographs, (1992)
East Kennett - West Kennett 1:2500, R.C.H.M.(E), Archaeological evidence from aerial photographs, (1992)
SU 16 NW 046, R.C.H.M.(E), A very small low barrow, (1974)

Source: Historic England

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