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Two bell barrows and a bowl barrow 370m east of Clover Farm: part of a group of round barrows west of Cranmore railway station

A Scheduled Monument in Doulting, Somerset

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.1829 / 51°10'58"N

Longitude: -2.4901 / 2°29'24"W

OS Eastings: 365840.969215

OS Northings: 142740.377083

OS Grid: ST658427

Mapcode National: GBR MW.5LYG

Mapcode Global: VH8B1.SJGK

Entry Name: Two bell barrows and a bowl barrow 370m east of Clover Farm: part of a group of round barrows west of Cranmore railway station

Scheduled Date: 10 June 1952

Last Amended: 24 October 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016304

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29781

County: Somerset

Civil Parish: Doulting

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset

Details

The monument includes two bell barrows and a bowl barrow situated on the
southern ridge of a shallow dry valley that runs north west-south east. The
barrows are the most northerly of a possible group of five barrows, the other
two occupy land south of the railway line.

The westernmost bell barrow has a mound 30m in diameter and 2m high, in the
centre of which is a 6m wide hollow, most probably the result of an excavation
carried out by the Rev J Skinner in 1827. This is recorded as having revealed
scattered pieces of calcined bone. Surrounding the mound is a berm
approximately 4m wide. This has a gently sloping profile in places, but
elsewhere, most noticeably on the south side, has a terraced appearance,
presumably caused by past ploughing. Although no longer visible on the surface
a ditch surrounds both mound and berm and will survive as a buried feature
approximately 4m wide. Traces of an exterior bank have been recorded in the
past but are no longer visible.

The second bell barrow has a mound 25m in diameter and 2m high, surrounding
which is a gently sloping berm 4m wide. There are traces of disturbance in
the centre of the mound and an old excavation trench runs the full length of
the west side of the mound. Surrounding both mound and berm is a flat
bottomed ditch 4m wide and about 0.5m deep. Surrounding the ditch is an
exterior bank 4.5m wide and approximately 0.3m high. This survives best on the
east side but is visible on all sides apart from the south, where it has been
ploughed out. The barrow is thought to have been excavated four times: in
1797, 1827, 1869 and 1922. In 1827 the Rev J Skinner found a primary
cremation, as well as an unburnt jawbone and armbone presumably from a
secondary inhumation, and in 1869 Mr J W Fowler found, probably from this
barrow, a cremation accompanied by a grooved bronze dagger as well as the
remains of a second smaller dagger and several flint implements.

The bowl barrow is the most easterly of the group and has a mound 11m in
diameter and 0.25m high. Although no longer visible on the surface, a ditch
surrounds the mound and will survive as a buried feature 2m wide.

MAP EXTRACT
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

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.

Bowl barrows, the most numerous form of round barrow, date from the Late
Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age, with most examples belonging to the
period 2400-1500 BC. Over 10,000 surviving bowl barrows have been recorded
nationally, occurring across most of lowland Britain.

Despite some plough erosion and disturbance caused by early excavations, the
two bell barrows west of Cranmore railway station are well preserved and
visually impressive examples of their class.

The bowl barrow is less well preserved but it too, will include archaeological
remains containing information about Bronze Age beliefs, economy and
environment.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Grinsell, L, 'Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeology and Natural Hist Soc' in Somerset Barrows Part II, , Vol. 115, (1971), 103

Source: Historic England

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