Ancient Monuments

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Bell barrow 660m south east of Beckhampton Buildings, forming part of a round barrow cemetery on Horton Down

A Scheduled Monument in Bishops Cannings, Wiltshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.409 / 51°24'32"N

Longitude: -1.887 / 1°53'13"W

OS Eastings: 407955.925849

OS Northings: 167776.797001

OS Grid: SU079677

Mapcode National: GBR 3VQ.PR5

Mapcode Global: VHB44.7VS8

Entry Name: Bell barrow 660m south east of Beckhampton Buildings, forming part of a round barrow cemetery on Horton Down

Scheduled Date: 10 March 1925

Last Amended: 29 April 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018549

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21759

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Bishops Cannings

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Details

The monument includes a bell barrow forming part of a group of four Bronze Age
round barrows situated on Horton Down.
The barrow mound has been disturbed by quarrying to the north and west but
survives with a diameter of 26m and stands up to 4m high. The mound is
surrounded by a gently sloping berm, 7m wide, and an outer quarry ditch from
which material was obtained during the construction of the monument. This
ditch has been partly infilled over the years but survives as a visible
feature approximately 7m wide and 0.5m deep. It has been affected by
quarrying to the north and west.
The barrow is on the parish boundary between Bishops Cannings and Avebury and
was used as a boundary marker during the early medieval period. Excluded from
the scheduling is the boundary fence which crosses the edge of the ditch, but
the ground beneath 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

A small number of areas in southern England appear to have acted as foci for
ceremonial and ritual activity during the Neolithic and Early Bronze Age
periods. Two of the best known and earliest recognised, with references in the
17th century, are around Avebury and Stonehenge, now jointly designated as a
World Heritage Site. In the Avebury area, the henge monument itself, the West
Kennet Avenue, the Sanctuary, West Kennet long barrow, Windmill Hill
causewayed enclosure and the enigmatic Silbury Hill are well-known. Whilst the
other Neolithic long barrows, the many Bronze Age round barrows and other
associated sites are less well-known, together they define one of the richest
and most varied areas of Neolithic and Bronze Age ceremonial and ritual
monuments in the country. 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 1600-1300 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 are rare nationally, with less than 250
known examples, most of which are in Wessex. All examples are considered
worthy of protection.

Despite having been partly disturbed by quarrying, this bell barrow 660m south
east of Beckhampton Buildings is well preserved and will contain
archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction and the
landscape in which it was built.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire, (1957), 155,159
Other
SU06NE640, CAO, Bell barrow, (1989)

Source: Historic England

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