Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Ratfyn Barrow

A Scheduled Monument in Amesbury, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.1765 / 51°10'35"N

Longitude: -1.7747 / 1°46'29"W

OS Eastings: 415843.009147

OS Northings: 141943.696078

OS Grid: SU158419

Mapcode National: GBR 503.2EG

Mapcode Global: VHB5C.6P4G

Entry Name: Ratfyn Barrow

Scheduled Date: 15 September 1938

Last Amended: 18 February 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015948

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28931

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Amesbury

Built-Up Area: Amesbury

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 bell barrow located in the garden of Ratfyn Barrow
House, Amesbury. The mound is 19m in diameter and 3m high. It is slightly
elongated, having spread towards the south west corner of the garden. Traces
of a shallow ditch 3m wide are visible to the east and north east of the mound
and, in being separated from it by a sloping berm 3m wide, suggest that the
monument may best be interpreted as a bell barrow. The reduction of ground
levels to the south and west will have destroyed the area of the berm and
surrounding ditch and these areas are consequently not included within the
All fence posts, garden ornaments and electricity supply poles are excluded
from the scheduling, although 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.

Ratfyn Barrow survives well and will contain archaeological remains and
environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it
was constructed.

Source: Historic England

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