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Winterbourne Stoke East round barrow cemetery and earthwork enclosure on Fore Down

A Scheduled Monument in Winterbourne Stoke, Wiltshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.1804 / 51°10'49"N

Longitude: -1.8834 / 1°53'0"W

OS Eastings: 408244.461223

OS Northings: 142353.325074

OS Grid: SU082423

Mapcode National: GBR 3YF.YFS

Mapcode Global: VHB59.9LNH

Entry Name: Winterbourne Stoke East round barrow cemetery and earthwork enclosure on Fore Down

Scheduled Date: 10 March 1925

Last Amended: 30 August 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015020

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28922

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Winterbourne Stoke

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Winterbourne Stoke St Peter

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury

Details

The monument includes the 11 barrows of the Winterbourne Stoke East round
barrow cemetery and the oval earthwork enclosure within which they lie,
situated on the south western end of Fore Down with views westwards over the
valley of the River Till.
The nucleated cemetery includes ten bowl barrows and a saucer barrow all of
which survive as earthworks. Seven of the barrows are arranged in a line
approximately north west to south east. Three others are located to the west
and one other to the east of this line. The mounds of the bowl barrows range
from 9m to 31m in diameter, and from 0.3m to 1.8m high. All are surrounded by
ditches, ranging in size from 1.5m wide in the case of the smallest barrow, to
3m wide around the largest mound.
The saucer barrow is situated between two of the bowl barrows in the north
west to south east alignment. The central mound is 10.5m in diameter and 0.5m
high, surrounded by a ditch 2m wide and the whole enclosed by an outer bank 3m
wide. The ditches of the bowl barrows have slightly truncated the outer bank
which would suggest an earlier date for the saucer barrow.
All the barrows are known to have been partly excavated in the 19th century,
most revealing evidence of burial. Both cremations and inhumations were found
accompanied by a variety of grave goods including Bronze Age pots, a bone
arrowhead and drinking cups.
Also included in the monument is a broadly oval earthwork enclosure within
which the barrows lie. The earthwork includes a low bank up to 3m wide and
0.3m high and a shallow outer ditch c.2m wide. The earthwork, within which
there is a gap on the north east side, encloses an area of 3ha. It has been
suggested as being of post-medieval date but this remains unproven.
All fence posts are excluded from the scheduling, but the ground beneath
these features is included.

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 Bronze Age periods.
Two of the best known and earliest recognised areas are around Avebury and
Stonehenge, now jointly designated as a World Heritage Site.
The area of chalk downland which surrounds Stonehenge contains one of the
densest and most varied groups of Neolithic and Bronze Age field monuments in
Britain. Included within the area are Stonehenge itself, the Stonehenge
cursus, the Durrington Walls henge, and a variety of burial monuments, many
grouped into cemeteries.
The area has been the subject of archaeological research since the 18th
century when Stukeley recorded many of the monuments and partially excavated a
number of the burial mounds. More recently, the collection of artefacts from
the surfaces of ploughed fields has supplemented the evidence for ritual and
burial by revealing the intensity of contemporary settlement and land-use. In
view of the importance of the area, all ceremonial and sepulchral monuments of
this period which retain significant archaeological remains are identified as
nationally important.
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 Avebury. Often occupying prominent positions, 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.

The Winterbourne Stoke East round barrow cemetery survives well and part
excavation of the barrows has shown that they contain archaeological remains
and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in
which it was constructed. The earthwork enclosure which surrounds the
barrow cemetery on Fore Down represents an unusual association.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 271
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 115-116
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 115-116
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 115-116
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 115-116
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 115-116
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 115-116
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 115-116
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 115-116
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 115-116
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 115-116
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 115-116
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 115-116

Source: Historic England

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