Ancient Monuments

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Group of round barrows at Withering Corner

A Scheduled Monument in Ashley, Hampshire

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Latitude: 51.0604 / 51°3'37"N

Longitude: -1.4372 / 1°26'13"W

OS Eastings: 439539.425352

OS Northings: 129160.692138

OS Grid: SU395291

Mapcode National: GBR 74K.HGL

Mapcode Global: FRA 76W9.V8T

Entry Name: Group of round barrows at Withering Corner

Scheduled Date: 18 July 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019126

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34134

County: Hampshire

Civil Parish: Ashley

Traditional County: Hampshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hampshire

Church of England Parish: Somborne with Ashley St Peter and St Paul

Church of England Diocese: Winchester


The monument includes a group of five round barrows inconspicuously situated
on the flank of a high chalk ridge which projects to the west from Farley
Mount. It forms a north east-south west alignment which extends for
approximately 150m along a false brow of the ridge, above ground dropping
steeply to the north west. The group forms the core component of a round
barrow cemetery of probable Bronze Age date (2000-700 BC). Two additional bowl
barrows which also form part of the cemetery, situated 150m-200m to the west,
are the subject of separate schedulings.
From the south west, the monument includes a contiguous group of two bowl
barrows and a twin bowl barrow, a further twin bowl barrow, and a saucer
barrow. The contiguous group is the most prominent. It was formerly classified
as a Neolithic long barrow but includes three distinct round barrow components
surrounded by a common quarry ditch. They have been constructed out of chalk
rubble along the cusp of a slight ledge which continues as a low bank between
the three components, giving the impression of a long barrow. The two bowl
barrows include well defined circular mounds, up to 18m in diameter and up to
2.4m high, with hollowed centres indicative of later excavation. The twin bowl
barrow also appears to have suffered some later disturbance, but survives as a
flat topped, roughly oval mound, slightly constricted across the centre. It is
approximately 21m long by 16m wide, raised up to 1.7m on the downslope side.
The surrounding quarry ditch is now partly infilled, but remains visible as a
shallow depression, 5m wide.
The second twin bowl barrow lies just to the north east on a slightly
different alignment. It is comparatively poorly defined and was also
previously classified as a possible long barrow. It forms a low mound, 26m
long by 11m wide, which is slightly wider and higher at the eastern end. Here
it stands up to 0.7m high and appears to form an oval shaped crest that
overlaps a slightly lower, circular shaped crest to the west. There is a
slight trace of an infilled ditch which forms a narrow terrace flanking the
mound to the north. Geophysical survey has indicated that this ditch also
flanks the monument on the southern side and that both ditches constrict
slightly at the centre, between the two crests.
The final component of the group is a low and poorly defined saucer barrow
which has been cut by a later hollow way that bisects it and, more recently,
by a modern bridle way that forms the route of the Clarendon Way. It survives,
however, as a squat, saucer shaped mound which sits centrally within a
surrounding ditch and outer bank. It has a total diameter of approximately 55m
and both the mound and bank stand up to 0.3m high. Buried remains associated
with the original construction and use of all components of the monument,
including the original ground surface, ditch fills, burials, grave pits and
grave goods, can be expected to survive.
All fence posts and the surface of the bridle way that crosses the monument
are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features
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.

Saucer barrows date to the Early Bronze Age, most examples falling between
1800 and 1200 BC. They are one of the rarest recognised forms of round barrow
with about 60 examples known nationally, most of which are in Wessex. Bowl
barrows, by contrast, are the most numerous form of round barrow, and date
from the Late Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age, with most examples
dating to between 2400-1500 BC. The presence of conjoint or twin barrows
surrounded by a common ditch is relatively uncommon.
The group of round barrows at Withering Corner survives comparatively well,
despite some later disturbance. Geophysical survey of the group has indicated
that it retains important archaeological remains, while environmental evidence
relating to the cemetery and the landscape in which it was constructed, will
also survive.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Smith, I F , Long Barrows in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, (1979), xxxiii
Smith, I F , Long Barrows in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, (1979), xxxiii
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club' in Hampshire Barrows, , Vol. 14, (1938), 10,14
Crawford, O G S and Keiller, A, Wessex from the Air, (1928)
Title: Map of Neolithic Wessex
Source Date: 1933

Source: Historic England

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