Ancient Monuments

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Bowl barrow and section of linear boundary earthwork on Winterbourne Stoke Down

A Scheduled Monument in Winterbourne Stoke, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.1856 / 51°11'8"N

Longitude: -1.877 / 1°52'37"W

OS Eastings: 408689.385446

OS Northings: 142941.347834

OS Grid: SU086429

Mapcode National: GBR 3YG.L7S

Mapcode Global: VHB59.FG1F

Entry Name: Bowl barrow and section of linear boundary earthwork on Winterbourne Stoke Down

Scheduled Date: 18 April 1955

Last Amended: 31 January 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015023

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28929

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


The monument includes a bowl barrow located on the crest of a north-facing
slope and a section of linear earthwork which runs down-slope and adjacent to
the west side of the bowl barrow, on Winterbourne Stoke Down.
The barrow mound is 0.5m high, 12m in diameter and is surrounded by a ditch
from which material was quarried during its construction and which now
survives as a slight depression 2m wide.
Part excavation of the barrow in the 19th century produced a large interment
of burnt bones.
The section of linear boundary earthwork is part of a more extensive feature
which extends to the north and south. It has been levelled to the south by
cultivation and disturbed by military activity and this section is not
included in the scheduling. The ditch of the boundary earthwork has a shallow
profile and is more steep on its east side, and has a maximum depth of 0.4m
and is 5m across at its widest point. At the bottom of the slope the ditch
turns and runs eastwards towards the A360 Devizes to Salisbury road where it
survives as a buried feature.
All fence posts are excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath these
features 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

The most complete and extensive survival of chalk downland archaeological
remains in central southern England occurs on Salisbury Plain, particularly in
those areas lying within the Salisbury Plain Training Area. These remains
represent one of the few extant archaeological "landscapes" in Britain and are
considered to be of special significance because they differ in character from
those in other areas with comparable levels of preservation. Individual sites
on Salisbury Plain are seen as being additionally important because the
evidence of their direct association with each other survives so well.

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. Their considerable variation
of form and longevity as a monument type provide important information on the
variety 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 on Winterbourne Stoke Down survives well and is known from
part excavation to contain archaeological remains and environmental evidence
relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed.
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 millenium from the Middle Bronze Age, although
they may have been reused later.
The scale of many linear boundaries has been taken to indicate that they were
constructed by large social groups and were used to mark important boundaries
in their landscape; their impressive scale displaying the corporate prestige
of their builders. They would have been powerful symbols, often with religious
associations, used to define and order the territorial holdings of those
groups who constructed them. Linear earthworks 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.
The section of linear boundary earthwork on Winterbourne Stoke Down survives
comparatively well and demonstrates, in its proximity to the earlier round
barrow, the close relationship between burial monuments and land division.
Such relationships, in which prominent burial mounds are clearly utilised as
sighting points for the layout of linear boundaries are not uncommon but it is
unusual for both components to survive as upstanding earthworks. In addition,
the boundary earthwork will contain within its buried deposits information
about Bronze Age economy and environment.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Hoare, R C, Ancient History of Wiltshire, (1812), 117

Source: Historic England

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