Ancient Monuments

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Pond barrow 480m west of Olddown Barn on Amesbury Down

A Scheduled Monument in Wilsford cum Lake, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.1581 / 51°9'29"N

Longitude: -1.795 / 1°47'42"W

OS Eastings: 414429.50973

OS Northings: 139893.97

OS Grid: SU144398

Mapcode National: GBR 508.90Q

Mapcode Global: VHB5J.T5X0

Entry Name: Pond barrow 480m west of Olddown Barn on Amesbury Down

Scheduled Date: 18 April 1955

Last Amended: 9 March 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015027

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28934

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Wilsford cum Lake

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Amesbury St Mary and St Melor

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes a pond barrow situated on a gentle north facing slope on
Amesbury Down above the River Avon valley. The central hollow of the barrow is
visible as a circular spread of dark soil 10m in diameter. It is surrounded by
a bank 3m wide most prominent on the southern, uphill side where it is visible
as a concentration of chalk and flint.

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

Pond barrows are ceremonial or funerary monuments of the Early to Middle
Bronze Age, most examples dating to between 1500 and 1000 BC. The term
"barrow" is something of a misnomer as, rather than a mound, they were
constructed as regular circular depressions with an embanked rim and,
occasionally, an outer ditch or an entrance through the bank. Where excavation
has occurred, single or multiple pits or cists, occasionally containing human
remains, have usually been discovered within the central depression, whilst at
one example a well-like shaft was revealed. Pond barrows occur either singly
or, more frequently, within round barrow cemeteries (closely-spaced groups of
barrows). The function and role of pond barrows is not fully understood but
their close association with other types of barrow and the limited but
repeated occurrence of human remains from excavated examples supports their
identification as ceremonial monuments involved in funerary ritual. Pond
barrows are the rarest form of round barrow, with about 60 examples recorded
nationally and a distribution largely confined to Wiltshire and Dorset. They
are representative of their period and, as few examples have been excavated,
they have a particularly high value for future study with the potential to
provide important evidence on the nature and variety of beliefs amongst
prehistoric communities. Due to their rarity, all identified pond barrows
would normally be considered to be of national importance.

Despite the central depression having being infilled and the bank reduced by
ploughing, the pond barrow 480m west of Olddown Barn on Amesbury Down will
contain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the
monument and the landscape in which it was constructed.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 225

Source: Historic England

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