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Round barrow cemetery to the south of Codford Down

A Scheduled Monument in Codford, Wiltshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.1841 / 51°11'2"N

Longitude: -2.0316 / 2°1'53"W

OS Eastings: 397887.071892

OS Northings: 142758.071032

OS Grid: ST978427

Mapcode National: GBR 2WX.P64

Mapcode Global: VHB56.QHVN

Entry Name: Round barrow cemetery to the south of Codford Down

Scheduled Date: 3 March 1927

Last Amended: 16 April 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016556

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31665

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Codford

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Codford St Peter

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury

Details

The monument includes a round barrow cemetery comprising one bell barrow and
four bowl barrows situated at the base of the south facing edge of Codford
Down on the west side of the valley of the Chitterne Brook. The cemetery
originally contained one bell barrow and ten bowl barrows. Of these, the bell
barrow and five bowl barrows survive as upstanding earthworks, one of which is
an outlier to the east and the subject of a separate scheduling. Additional
barrows may survive as buried features within the monument.
The bell barrow (ST97894280)is at the northern end of the cemetery. It has a
mound with a flat top 6m across which is 2.8m high and 22.5m in diameter.
There is a slight berm on the western side. Surrounding it is a quarry ditch
5m wide and 0.5m deep on all but the northern side where it is set into the
hillside and has become infilled.
To the south west of this is the mound of a bowl barrow (ST97864277). This has
been spread by ploughing and is 0.4m high and 21m in diameter. Partial
excavation in 1957 showed that this is a scraped up barrow with no surrounding
ditch. The mounds of the remaining bowl barrows are surrounded by ditches from
which material was quarried during their construction. These have become
infilled over the years and survive as buried features.
The largest bowl barrow (ST97914268) lies to the south of the others in the
group. It has a mound up to 2.2m high and 23.5m in diameter. To the north of
this is the mound of another bowl barrow (ST97914274) which is up to 1m high
and 20m across and has been truncated on its eastern edge by ploughing. North
of this, adjacent to the bell barrow is a low bowl barrow (ST97904278) with a
mound 0.3m high and 15.5m in diameter.
The barrow cemetery was investigated by William Cunnington and recorded and
drawn by the antiquarian Sir Richard Colt Hoare at the beginning of the 19th
century. At this time 11 barrows survived in the cemetery which he called
the Ashton Valley group. Partial excavation of the barrows at that time and in
1957 revealed inhumations and cremations as well as artefacts including Middle
and Late Bronze Age Urns and bronze axeheads.
All fenceposts and cattle troughs are excluded from the scheduling although
the ground beneath these features is included.

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

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 round barrow cemetery south of Codford Down survives well and is a good
example of this class of monument. The surviving barrows appear to be little
changed since they were recorded at the beginning of the 19th century.
Partial excavation has shown that the barrows contain archaeological and
environmental evidence relating to the people who built them and the landscape
in which they lived.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Colt Hoare, R, The Ancient History of Wiltshire: Volume I, (1812), 78
Colt Hoare, R, The Ancient History of Wiltshire: Volume I, (1812), 79
Colt Hoare, R, The Ancient History of Wiltshire: Volume I, (1812), 80
Grinsell, L V, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire, (1957), 166
Annable, F K, 'The Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine' in Excavation And Field Work In Wiltshire 1957, , Vol. 57, (1957), 8-9

Source: Historic England

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