Ancient Monuments

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Four round barrows 840m WSW of Swainstondown Gate

A Scheduled Monument in Calbourne, Isle of Wight

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Latitude: 50.67 / 50°40'12"N

Longitude: -1.3867 / 1°23'12"W

OS Eastings: 443437.2271

OS Northings: 85772.9284

OS Grid: SZ434857

Mapcode National: GBR 8BL.XY4

Mapcode Global: FRA 77Z9.PKN

Entry Name: Four round barrows 840m WSW of Swainstondown Gate

Scheduled Date: 6 September 1994

Last Amended: 11 February 2002

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020265

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33969

County: Isle of Wight

Civil Parish: Calbourne

Traditional County: Hampshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Isle of Wight

Church of England Parish: Calbourne All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Portsmouth


The monument, which lies within four areas of protection, is situated on the
lower, northern slopes of Newbarn Down and includes four round barrows.
The first protected area to the north west includes a barrow bisected by a
modern boundary. The barrow mound is sub-circular in plan, approximately 20m
by 15m in diameter and up to 0.6m in height. A further barrow to the south
falls within the second area of protection and includes a mound up to 6m in
diameter and 0.35m in height. The third protected area to the north east
contains an additional barrow visible as an ovoid mound up to 10m in diameter
east to west, 12m north to south and a maximum of 1m in height. It is bisected
by a modern boundary. To the south east, the fourth area of protection
contains a round barrow, which includes a mound 8.5m in diameter and 0.7m
Although the mound of the north eastern barrow, which is bisected by a modern
boundary, has been truncated on its eastern side by ploughing, there are still
slight traces of a surrounding ditch to the south and east. Ditches, from
which material was excavated for the construction of the barrows will also
surround the mounds of the other barrows. These have become infilled over the
years but will survive as buried features approximately 2m wide.
Documentary sources record that in 1931 the two eastern barrows were partially
excavated by H E Pritchett. Finds at the north eastern barrow included two
cremations, one at the centre beneath the mound and a second deposited within
an inverted urn which had been inserted into the mound. The urn was dated to
the earlier Bronze Age and the excavator considered that the cremation was
that of a young adult woman.
All fences are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them
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 barrows 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 mounds, sometimes ditched, which covered
single or multiple burials. They occur either in isolation or grouped as
cemeteries and often acted as a focus of 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 examples recorded nationally (many more have already
been destroyed), occurring across most of Britain, including the Wessex area
where it is often possible to classify them more closely, for example as bowl
or bell barrows. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major
historic element in the modern landscape and their considerable variation in
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

The four round barrows 840m WSW of Swaintstondown Gate survive as earthworks
which will retain archaeological information pertaining to their construction
and use. In addition the old land surface sealed beneath the mounds and the
fills of the encircling ditches are likely to contain environmental evidence
relating to the landscape in which the barrows were placed.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Grinsell, , Sherwin, , 'Proceedings of the I.O.W. Nat History and Archaeological Soc' in Procedings of the I.O.W. Nat History and Archaeological Soc, , Vol. 3, (1940), 182,204
Isle of Wight County Council, Record Number 415,
Isle of Wight County Council, Record Number 417,
Isle of Wight County Council, Record Number 4287, (2000)
Woodhouse, W., Ordnance Survey Record Card SZ 48 NW 16, (1955)

Source: Historic England

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