Ancient Monuments

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Bowl barrow 535m SSW of the southern corner of Moll Harris's Clump: one of a group of round barrows on Porton Down

A Scheduled Monument in Firsdown, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.116 / 51°6'57"N

Longitude: -1.689 / 1°41'20"W

OS Eastings: 421865.30096

OS Northings: 135234.564545

OS Grid: SU218352

Mapcode National: GBR 50S.ZS9

Mapcode Global: VHC37.N6YT

Entry Name: Bowl barrow 535m SSW of the southern corner of Moll Harris's Clump: one of a group of round barrows on Porton Down

Scheduled Date: 5 March 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014093

English Heritage Legacy ID: 26755

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Firsdown

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, one of a group of at least seven
round barrows which straddles a shallow coombe on Porton Down. The barrow,
which lies on a shallow south facing slope, has a flat topped mound 17m in
diameter and 0.7m high. An irregular area of disturbance in the centre of the
mound may have resulted from the excavation of a burial carried out by J F S
Stone c.1930. Surrounding the mound is a ditch, most clearly visible on the
west side where it is 2m wide and 0.3m deep. On the east side of the barrow,
beyond the ditch, traces of a low bank c.3m wide and 0.3m high are visible.
Stone's part excavation provided information concerning the later burial
history of the barrow. A Late Bronze Age urn was found to have been inserted
into the mound and was, in itself, disturbed by the later insertion of a
contracted skeleton.

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 535m SSW of the southern corner of Moll Harris's Clump is a
well preserved example of its class which, despite some erosion caused by
burrowing animals, exhibits a largely original profile. Small scale excavation
has served to confirm the dating of the barrow and has provided evidence of a
complex burial history.
Within its remaining buried deposits, the barrow will contain archaeological
remains providing information about Bronze Age beliefs, economy and

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Stone, J F S, 'Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine' in Skeleton Found in a Barrow at Idmiston, , Vol. Vol 46, (1934), 387-388

Source: Historic England

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