Ancient Monuments

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The Rookery bowl barrow, part of the Chippenham barrow cemetery, 250m south of Waterhall Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Chippenham, Cambridgeshire

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Latitude: 52.2756 / 52°16'32"N

Longitude: 0.4593 / 0°27'33"E

OS Eastings: 567884.506011

OS Northings: 267008.84106

OS Grid: TL678670

Mapcode National: GBR PBY.8Y4

Mapcode Global: VHJGJ.X26C

Entry Name: The Rookery bowl barrow, part of the Chippenham barrow cemetery, 250m south of Waterhall Farm

Scheduled Date: 2 January 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015244

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27178

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 250m to the south of
Waterhall Farm, within a small copse immediately to the north of the A14 known
as `The Rookery'.
The barrow stands on the broad ridge of the low chalk escarpment. To the south
a slight gradient descends in the direction of Newmarket, and to the north the
ground gradually falls towards Chippenham and the fen edge around Worlington
and Isleham. The barrow mound is roughly circular in plan and domed in
profile, measuring c.35m in diameter and 1m in height.
It was first noted in C Fox's `Archaeology of the Cambridge Region'(1923), at
which time it was recorded as unexamined. There is no evidence of
archaeological excavation since this time, and the mound is therefore assumed
to remain undisturbed.
The barrow forms part of a dispersed group or cemetery which included at least
ten similar barrows, seven of which still survive (and are scheduled
separately). The cemetery is aligned broadly east-west, extending over a
distance of c.1.5km to the south of Chippenham Park. The Rookery barrow lies
some 530m from the site of three barrows grouped together at eastern end of
the cemetery, two of which were thoroughly archaeologically excavated in 1940
and the area subsequently ploughed; the third barrow is scheduled separately
as SM 27177; c.320m to the ESE lies a surviving barrow in Hilly Plantation
(SM 27179) - the nearest member of a group of barrows clustered near the
junction of the A11 and A14, some of which were excavated in 1973 prior to the
construction of the dual carriageways (the surviving ones of which comprise SM
27180). This alignment, together with further outlying barrows near Newmarket
and Barton Mills, broadly correlates with course of the Roman road between
Great Chesterford and Thetford. The barrows are indicative of a far earlier
prehistoric trackway following this route (the Icknield Way) across the edge
of 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 Rookery bowl barrow survives well. The mound is undisturbed and stands
close to its original height. Funerary remains together with other artefacts
and structural evidence contained within the mound will provide details
concerning the date of its construction, the duration of its use and the
character of prehistoric burial. The former ground surface beneath the mound
will retain valuable evidence for activities preceding its construction, and
environmental information illustrating the appearance of the landscape in
which the monument was set.
The association between this barrow and the others which form both the
cemetery and the wider alignment is highly significant, providing insights
into the development of ritual practice, the position of the prehistoric
trackway across the chalk escarpment, and the pattern of prehistoric
settlement in the region.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Bray, S, Chippenham Park and Fen River Pipeline Archaeological Assessment, (1991)
Fox, C, Archaeology of the Cambridge Region, (1923), 30
Leaf, C, 'PCAS' in Two Bronze Age Tumuli, Chippenham, , Vol. 39, (1940), 30-34
group SMR number, 10325: Chippenham Barrow Group, (1991)
group SMR number, 7448: Chippenham Barrow Group, (1985)

Source: Historic England

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