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Round barrow cemetery on Ibsley Common, 800m south east of Blunts Barn Cottage

A Scheduled Monument in Ellingham, Harbridge and Ibsley, Hampshire

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Latitude: 50.8935 / 50°53'36"N

Longitude: -1.7508 / 1°45'2"W

OS Eastings: 417619.8755

OS Northings: 110474.9174

OS Grid: SU176104

Mapcode National: GBR 53F.VKH

Mapcode Global: FRA 766R.5Q9

Entry Name: Round barrow cemetery on Ibsley Common, 800m south east of Blunts Barn Cottage

Scheduled Date: 25 November 1999

Last Amended: 7 July 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019305

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31178

County: Hampshire

Civil Parish: Ellingham, Harbridge and Ibsley

Traditional County: Hampshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hampshire

Church of England Parish: Hyde with Ellingham and Harbridge

Church of England Diocese: Winchester


The monument, which falls into seven areas of protection, includes a round
barrow cemetery of Late Neolithic or Bronze Age date, prominently situated
250m west of Cuckoo Hill on a high gravel plateau on Ibsley Common,
overlooking the low lying valley of the River Avon to the west. This flat
plateau, which covers an area of approximately 240ha, was later used as the
site of a World War II aerodrome for which some associated structural and
earthwork remains survive.
At least seven further round barrows are widely spaced across the common, all
of which are situated around the upper edges of the central plateau or on
subsidiary spurs.
The monument includes a disc barrow, a saucer barrow, six bowl barrows and the
site of a further bowl barrow, now levelled by the later use of the site as an
aerodrome. Further elements, including flat graves and urnfields, are likely
to survive as buried features between the barrows. The barrows are widely
spaced, averaging approximately 110m apart, but follow a rough east-west
alignment along the northern edge of Chibden bottom, a deep, steep-sided
coombe which partly bisects the plateau. Most of the barrows are situated
within 40m of the sharp edge of this coombe, although the two easternmost
barrows are located 100m-150m back.
The disc barrow, 19.5m in total diameter, is of a relatively unusual form,
comprising a disc-shaped platform, raised 0.15m, surrounded by a low raised
rim, and a shallow outer ditch. It is very prominently located at the
intersection of two spurs at the western edge of the gravel plateau. The
saucer barrow, located 480m to the ESE, at the head of Chibden Bottom, is 16m
in total diameter and includes a small, saucer-shaped mound, also raised about
0.15m, surrounded by a ditch, about 0.25m deep, and a flat-topped outer
bank,about 4m wide and 0.3m high. The remaining bowl barrows are all
relatively small and indistinct, comprising round or slightly oval, flat-
topped mounds which range from 4m to 11m in diameter and from 0.2m to 0.6m
high. Of these, the westernmost bowl barrow has been deeply hollowed in the
centre as a result of later excavation and stock poaching and is clipped by a
modern path. The site of one additional round barrow, recorded by the Ordnance
Survey is also included. This barrow is visible as an area of exposed flint
gravel, 10m in diameter, and further buried remains are likely to survive.
Excavations of the saucer barrow and the easternmost bowl barrow, conducted by
Heywood Sumner in 1917, demonstrated that the saucer barrow was constructed
from local sand and gravel, probably obtained from the surrounding ditch,
whereas the bowl barrow was constructed of the same material overlying a core
of white clayey sand and an encircling ramp of consolidated gravel flints,
both of which would have been imported from some distance. At the centre of
the bowl barrow Sumner found an irregular pit, 0.6m in diameter by 0.45m deep,
filled with dark soil and charcoal but producing no other finds. At the centre
of the saucer barrow Sumner found similar burnt material overlying a small
cist cut into the underlying subsoil, 0.45m in diameter and 0.2m deep, which
was floored with rammed pebbles and contained an inverted Bronze Age cinerary
urn filled with fine soil and charcoal. Excavations of four other barrows on
Ibsley Common by Sumner in 1917 and 1921 yielded similar results and produced
two further Bronze Age urns, both of which contained burnt human bone. These
urns and other finds from Sumner's excavations on Ibsley Common are now held
at the Salisbury Museum.
An octagonal brick structure, a brick bunker and the rectangular floor and
foundations of a brick and concrete structure situated from 50m to 200m south
of the monument are the result of the later use of the area as a World War II
aerodrome and are not included in the scheduling.

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 Ibsley Common survives comparatively well despite
some disturbance caused by later excavation and the modern use of the area as
a World War II aerodrome. It contains nationally rare examples of disc and
saucer barrows. The excavations have indicated that it retains important
archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and
the landscape in which it was constructed.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Sumner, H, 'Transactions of the Bournemouth Field Club and Arch. Society' in Excavation of barrows on Ibsley Common, , Vol. 14, (1922), 69-78
Sumner, H, Local Papers (Excavation of barrows on Ibsley Common), (1931)
Sumner, H, Local Papers (Excavation of barrows on Ibsley Common), (1931)
Sumner, H, Local Papers (Excavation of barrows on Ibsley Common), (1931)

Source: Historic England

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