Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Bowl barrow 50m west of the Battery Hill triangulation point

A Scheduled Monument in Idmiston, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.1126 / 51°6'45"N

Longitude: -1.7075 / 1°42'27"W

OS Eastings: 420570.498929

OS Northings: 134851.261967

OS Grid: SU205348

Mapcode National: GBR 50Z.149

Mapcode Global: VHC37.C95F

Entry Name: Bowl barrow 50m west of the Battery Hill triangulation point

Scheduled Date: 5 March 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014090

English Heritage Legacy ID: 26752

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Idmiston

Built-Up Area: Gomeldon

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Idmiston with Porton Gomeldon St Nicholas

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes a ditched bowl barrow, lying on a gentle north west
facing slope immediately below the crest of Battery Hill.
The barrow has a mound 20m in diameter and 1m high on the summit of which a
flagpole base and anchor points have been inserted. On its western side is a
depression 3.5m by 2m and up to 0.8m deep. In places around the mound a ditch
can be seen, 3m wide and up to 0.3m deep. The ditch, from which material to
construct the mound was quarried survives, where not visible on the surface,
as a buried feature.
Excluded from the scheduling are the flagpole base and anchor points together
with the archaeological site marker to the south of the barrow 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.
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 organisation amongst early
prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period
and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of

The bowl barrow 50m west of the Battery Hill triangulation point is a well
preserved example of its class. Despite the insertion of the flagpole base
the barrow exhibits a largely original profile with, in places, a pronounced
ditch surrounding the mound. The barrow will contain archaeological remains
providing information about Bronze Age beliefs, economy and environment.

Source: Historic England

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