Ancient Monuments

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Bowl barrow, known as Woodchester Beaker barrow, 430m west of Longwood Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Woodchester, Gloucestershire

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Latitude: 51.7162 / 51°42'58"N

Longitude: -2.2751 / 2°16'30"W

OS Eastings: 381093.422848

OS Northings: 201982.0786

OS Grid: SO810019

Mapcode National: GBR 0LK.7NN

Mapcode Global: VH953.J445

Entry Name: Bowl barrow, known as Woodchester Beaker barrow, 430m west of Longwood Farm

Scheduled Date: 14 February 1949

Last Amended: 25 November 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017078

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32380

County: Gloucestershire

Civil Parish: Woodchester

Traditional County: Gloucestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Gloucestershire

Church of England Parish: Kings Stanley

Church of England Diocese: Gloucester


The monument includes a bowl barrow on the southern slope of a north facing
ridge in the Cotswolds. The barrow mound measures about 25m in diameter and is
up to 0.4m high. Surrounding the mound is a ditch from which material was
excavated during the construction of the barrow. The ditch is no longer
visible at ground level, having become infilled over the years, but survives
as a buried feature about 3m wide.
In 1920 it was recorded that the barrow mound was about 23m in diameter and
1.83m high. In 1929 the mound was disturbed by workmen looking for road
building material. At this time an almost complete Bronze Age beaker and
human bones were found in the mound. The barrow was partially excavated by
E M Clifford in 1949. Four pits thought to date from the construction of the
barrow were found, along with a fifth pit 4m long and 1.1m wide, which
contained human or animal bones, and which has been described as a Roman
grave. Above this grave was a coin of Valens (AD 364-378), and in disturbed
levels nearby were a number of potsherds of third and fourth century date.
Clifford speculated that the area had first been cleared, and the four pits
dug into the underlying rock. These were then filled in with burnt material
and a layer of earth was spread over the area onto which a stone chamber,
measuring about 14.6m in diameter and at least 1.3m high was built. This cairn
was then covered with an earthen mound.
The dry stone boundary wall which runs north west-south east across the mound
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

Bowl barrows, the most numerous form of round barrow, are funerary monuments
dating from the Late Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age, with most
examples belonging to the period 2400-1500 BC. They were constructed as
earthen or rubble mounds, sometimes ditched, which covered single or multiple
burials. They occur either in isolation or grouped as cemeteries and often
acted as a focus for burials in later periods. Often superficially similar,
although differing widely in size, they exhibit regional variations in form
and a diversity of burial practices. There are over 10,000 surviving bowl
barrows recorded nationally (many more have already been destroyed), occurring
across most of lowland Britain. Often occupying prominent locations, they are
a major historic element in the modern landscape and their considerable
variation of form and longevity as a monument type provide important
information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisations amongst early
prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period
and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of

Although the mound of Woodchester Beaker barrow has been partially excavated,
it will still contain evidence for primary and secondary burials, along with
grave goods, which will provide information about prehistoric funerary
practices and about the size of the local community at that time. The barrow
mound will also preserve environmental information in the buried original
ground surface, predating the construction of the barrow and giving an insight
into the landscape in which the monument was set. In addition the mound and
its surrounding ditch will contain environmental evidence, in the form of
organic remains, which will relate both to the barrow and the wider landscape.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Clifford, E M, 'Trans. of the Bristol and Glos. Arch. Society' in Ivy Lodge Round Cairn, Woodchester, , Vol. LXIX, (1950), 59-77
Falconer, J P E, 'Trans. of the Bristol and Glos. Arch. Society' in A Bronze Age Round Barrow, Woodchester, , Vol. LII, (1930), 309
O`Neil, H E, Grinsell, L V, 'Proc of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Arch Soc' in Gloucestershire Barrows, , Vol. LXXIX, (1960), 120

Source: Historic England

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