Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Bowl barrow on Berwick Drove, 620m north east of Ashcombe Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Berwick St. John, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 50.9835 / 50°59'0"N

Longitude: -2.0883 / 2°5'18"W

OS Eastings: 393893.66467

OS Northings: 120459.277248

OS Grid: ST938204

Mapcode National: GBR 2ZC.6TM

Mapcode Global: FRA 66JH.SB9

Entry Name: Bowl barrow on Berwick Drove, 620m north east of Ashcombe Farm

Scheduled Date: 15 July 1955

Last Amended: 11 February 2002

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020463

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33560

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Berwick St. John

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Berwick St John St John

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes a bowl barrow on Berwick Drove, 620m north east of
Ashcombe Farm, situated on a south west facing slope just below the summit of
the hill.
The barrow has a flat-topped mound, which is terraced into the slope. It is
15m in diameter, up to 1m high on the downhill western side and about 0.3m
high on the uphill side. A slight depression on the top of the mound may
indicate past excavation, although there is no record of this. Surrounding the
mound is a ditch from which material for its construction was quarried. This
is visible as a depression 3m wide and 0.4m deep, except on the western side
where it will survive as a buried feature.
All fence posts 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

Cranborne Chase is an area of chalkland well known for its high number,
density and diversity of archaeological remains. These include a rare
combination of Neolithic and Early Bronze Age sites, comprising one of the
largest concentrations of burial monuments in England, the largest known
cursus (a linear ritual monument) and a significant number and range of henge
monuments (Late Neolithic ceremonial centres). Other important remains include
a variety of enclosures, settlements, field systems and linear boundaries
which date throughout prehistory and into the Romano-British and medieval
periods. This high level of survival of archaeological remains is due largely
to the later history of the Chase. Cranborne Chase formed a Royal Hunting
Ground from at least Norman times, and much of the archaeological survival
within the area resulted from associated laws controlling land-use which
applied until 1830. The unique archaeological character of the Chase has
attracted much attention over the years, notably during the later 19th
century, by the pioneering work on the Chase of General Pitt-Rivers, Sir
Richard Colt Hoare and Edward Cunnington, often regarded as the fathers of
British archaeology. Archaeological investigations have continued throughout
the 20th century and to the present day.
Bowl barrows, the most numerous form of round barrow, are funerary monuments
dating from the Late Neolithic 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. Over 10,000 bowl barrows are known to survive
nationally, of which a cluster of at least 395 examples has been identified on
Cranborne Chase. Some of these have been levelled by ploughing but remain
visible from the air as ring ditches. Buried remains will nevertheless survive
at these sites, both within the ditch fills and associated with the central
burial pit. Bowl barrows are particularly representative of their period,
whilst their considerable variation of form and longevity as a monument type
will provide important information on the diversity of beliefs and social
organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. Often occupying prominent
locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape and
constitute a significant component of the archaeology of Cranborne Chase. All
surviving examples within this area are, therefore, considered to be of
national importance.

The bowl barrow on Berwick Drove, 620m north east of Ashcombe Farm is one
of a dispersed scatter of similar monuments in this area of Cranborne Chase.
It is a well-preserved example of its class and will contain archaeological
remains providing information relating to later prehistoric funerary
practices, society and the contemporary environment.

Source: Historic England

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