Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Round barrow cemetery on Magdalen Hill Down

A Scheduled Monument in St Bartholomew, Hampshire

We don't have any photos of this monument yet. Why don't you be the first to send us one?

Upload Photo »

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »

If Google Street View is available, the image is from the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the monument. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.


Latitude: 51.0612 / 51°3'40"N

Longitude: -1.288 / 1°17'16"W

OS Eastings: 449989.494098

OS Northings: 129331.735277

OS Grid: SU499293

Mapcode National: GBR 862.K4G

Mapcode Global: FRA 8669.S21

Entry Name: Round barrow cemetery on Magdalen Hill Down

Scheduled Date: 29 March 1949

Last Amended: 13 October 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016746

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32543

County: Hampshire

Electoral Ward/Division: St Bartholomew

Traditional County: Hampshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hampshire

Church of England Parish: Winchester All Saints with Chilcomb with Chesil St Peter

Church of England Diocese: Winchester


The monument includes a round barrow cemetery of Late Neolithic to Bronze Age
date prominently situated on the south facing slope of Magdalen Hill Down,
overlooking Twyford Down and St Catherine's Hill to the south east and
St Giles' Hill and Winchester to the west. It includes a linear arrangement of
five bowl barrows extending over a distance of approximately 85m along a false
crest on the down, with the ground sloping steeply below it to the south. All
of the barrows are closely spaced, two of them overlapping slightly, with the
remainder being separated by an average distance of 3m.
The easternmost three barrows are the most substantial. They include steep
sided, circular mounds, ranging in diameter from 16m to 20.5m and standing
1.5m-2m high to the north and 2.8m-3.5m high on the downslope, southern side.
Of these, the central barrow has been disturbed by a shallow trench, 2m wide,
which is indicative of later excavation. All three barrows include shallow,
surrounding quarry ditches, up to 3.5m wide and 0.4m deep, which have now
become substantially infilled and remain visible only as discontinuous
sections on the downslope sides.
The two westernmost barrows are smaller and less conspicuous. They include
roughly circular mounds, 11m-12m in diameter, standing up to 0.5m high on the
upslope, northern side but rising up to a metre high on the downslope side. Of
these, the eastern barrow has been lowered almost to ground level on the
upslope side by later excavation and is now only clearly defined as a
cresent shaped scarp on the south side. It is probably the source of a number
of finds displayed in 1940 in the Winchester office of the Hampshire
Chronicle, which included animal teeth, pottery and a small chisel of possible
Late Bronze Age date, reportedly found close to a human inhumation burial on
the barrow site on Magdalen Hill. Both of these barrows would probably also
formerly have included surrounding quarry ditches. These have now become
infilled but will survive as buried features.
The fence which crosses the monument on the north and east sides is excluded
from the scheduling, although the ground beneath it is included.

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 on Magdalen Hill Down survives comparatively well.
Partial excavation has indicated that it retains archaeological remains
and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which
it was constructed.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Andrewes, AG, Chilcombe, (1906), 56
Andrewes, AG, Chilcombe, (1906), 56
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club' in Hampshire Barrows, , Vol. 14, (1940), 353
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club' in Hampshire Barrows, , Vol. 14, (1940), 353
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club' in Hampshire Barrows, , Vol. 14, (1940), 353
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club' in Hampshire Barrows, , Vol. 14, (1938), 196

Source: Historic England

Other nearby scheduled monuments is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself. is a Good Stuff website.