Ancient Monuments

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Triple bell barrow 530m north of Field Barn on Amesbury Down

A Scheduled Monument in Durnford, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.1541 / 51°9'14"N

Longitude: -1.7892 / 1°47'21"W

OS Eastings: 414838.678842

OS Northings: 139447.370153

OS Grid: SU148394

Mapcode National: GBR 508.JHB

Mapcode Global: VHB5J.X8Z3

Entry Name: Triple bell barrow 530m north of Field Barn on Amesbury Down

Scheduled Date: 3 March 1927

Last Amended: 30 August 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015028

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28936

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Durnford

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 triple bell barrow situated on a broad plateau east of
the River Avon valley on Amesbury Down. It is an unusual form of round barrow,
originally constructed as three contiguous mounds, aligned broadly east west,
surrounded by a single ditch. The most easterly mound is either a flint cairn
or an earthen mound capped with flints. Cultivation has blurred the profile of
the mounds which now give the appearance of a single oval mound 35m long, 24m
wide and 0.9m high, surrounded by a berm c.4m wide. Both mound and berm are
enclosed by a shallow, oval ditch up to 4m wide and 0.3m deep. There are
traces of an outer bank. Fragments of skull and other human bones were found
in the ploughsoil on the barrow in 1972.
The mound, berm, oval ditch and part of the outer bank have been marked by 14
concrete bollards. The bollards 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.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Bell barrows, the most visually impressive form of round barrow, are funerary
monuments dating to the Early and Middle Bronze Age, with most examples
belonging to the period 1500-1100 BC. They occur either in isolation or in
round barrow cemeteries and were constructed as single or multiple mounds
covering burials, often in pits, and surrounded by an enclosure ditch. The
burials are frequently accompanied by weapons, personal ornaments and pottery
and appear to be those of aristocratic individuals, usually men. Bell barrows
(particularly multiple barrows) are rare nationally, with less than 250 known
examples, most of which are in Wessex. Their richness in terms of grave goods
provides evidence for chronological and cultural links amongst early
prehistoric communities over most of southern and eastern England as well as
providing an insight into their beliefs and social organisation. As a
particularly rare form of round barrow, all identified bell barrows would
normally be considered to be of national importance.

The triple bell barrow on Amesbury Down represents an unusual variation within
its class. It survives comparatively well and 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
'Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine' in Wiltshire Archaeological Register for 1972, , Vol. Vol 68, (1973), 128

Source: Historic England

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