Ancient Monuments

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Bowl barrow 630m south east of Waterhall Farm, part of the Chippenham barrow cemetery

A Scheduled Monument in Chippenham, Cambridgeshire

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Latitude: 52.2744 / 52°16'28"N

Longitude: 0.4671 / 0°28'1"E

OS Eastings: 568420.672536

OS Northings: 266899.741864

OS Grid: TL684668

Mapcode National: GBR PBY.BXG

Mapcode Global: VHJGK.13T7

Entry Name: Bowl barrow 630m south east of Waterhall Farm, part of the Chippenham barrow cemetery

Scheduled Date: 8 December 1969

Last Amended: 13 November 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015243

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27177

County: Cambridgeshire

Civil Parish: Chippenham

Traditional County: Cambridgeshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cambridgeshire

Church of England Parish: Chippenham St Margaret

Church of England Diocese: Ely


The monument includes a Bronze Age bowl barrow located to the south of the Ely
to Bury St Edmunds railway line, and to the east of Chippenham Road.
The barrow stands within a level area of pasture near the top of a gradual
south facing slope. The mound measures c.34m in diameter and c.0.7m high, with
a flattened summit and shallow sloping sides.
The barrow was first noted in the late 1930s. Two adjacent barrows (within the
plantation which then covered the site) were excavated in 1940. The first of
these lay some 20m to the east of the surviving barrow, and was found to be a
ditchless mound with a core of compact sand overlying the cremated remains of
one adult and at least one child. The second barrow lay c.60m to the SSW.
This mound was encircled by a buried ditch and contained a similar sandy core,
in this case overlying a surface of packed flint. The primary burial could not
be identified here, although two secondary cremation burials were uncovered in
the upper part of the core. Both barrows were thoroughly archaeologically
excavated and the area has subsequently been ploughed. Neither is included in
the scheduling. The remaining earthwork was partly examined by trial trench in
1940 but not fully excavated, neither was it cultivated following the removal
of the plantation in the 1960s. In addition to being the last surviving member
of this small group of barrows, the monument also forms part of a wider
alignment of barrows which extends from east to west across the low chalk
escarpment to the south of Chippenham Park (the Chippenham barrow cemetery).
This alignment included at least ten such barrows, of which seven (including
this one) still remain, the furthest sited near the present junction of the
A11 and the A14 some 1.5km to the west. The alignment broadly coincides with
the route of the Roman road between Great Chesterford and Thetford (the
Icknield Way). This cemetery (together with other barrows located more widely
along the route) is indicative of a far earlier prehistoric trackway following
the chalk escarpment.

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

Round barrow cemeteries date to the Bronze Age (c.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, occasionally associated with earlier
long barrows. Where large scale investigation has been undertaken around them,
contemporary or later "flat" burials between the barrow mounds have often been
revealed. Round barrow cemeteries occur across most of lowland Britain, with a
marked concentration in Wessex. In some cases, they are clustered around other
important contemporary monuments such as henges. Often occupying prominent
locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape, whilst
their diversity and their 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 or partly-surviving examples are
considered worthy of protection.

The bowl barrow 630m south east of Waterhall Farm survives in good condition.
The results of the excavation of neighbouring barrows provide an insight into
the wealth of archaeological information which the monument will contain.
Funerary remains together with other artefacts and structural evidence will
provide details concerning the date of the barrow's construction, the duration
of its use and the character of prehistoric ritual practice. The former ground
surface beneath the mound may retain valuable evidence for activities
preceding its construction and, using modern methods of analysis,
environmental evidence for the appearance of the landscape in which
the monument was set.
The 1940 excavations were of a high standard and made a significant
contribution to the understanding of prehistoric burial practices in the
region. Although the excavated barrows no longer exist, records and artifact
collections preserve details which place the remaining barrow in context,
thereby allowing further study of this small barrow group in relation to the
wider barrow cemetery, and in relation to prehistoric ritual and settlement
within the region.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Bray, S, Chippenham Park and Fen River Pipeline Archaeological Assessment, (1991)
Leaf, C S, 'PCAS' in Further Excavations in Bronze Age Barrows at Chippenham, Cambs, , Vol. 39, (1940), 30-34
7447 Howe Hill Barrow, (1985)
FMW reports, Paterson, H, Scheduled Ancient Monument Report Form, (1991)
Records of NW excavated barrow, 4465-7, (1985)
Records of southern excavated barrow, 4464, (1985)

Source: Historic England

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