Ancient Monuments

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Round barrow cemetery on Woolmer Down, 540m south of Woolmer Pond Cottage

A Scheduled Monument in Whitehill, Hampshire

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Latitude: 51.0794 / 51°4'45"N

Longitude: -0.8724 / 0°52'20"W

OS Eastings: 479082.766163

OS Northings: 131722.615344

OS Grid: SU790317

Mapcode National: GBR CBF.881

Mapcode Global: FRA 9618.KY0

Entry Name: Round barrow cemetery on Woolmer Down, 540m south of Woolmer Pond Cottage

Scheduled Date: 7 March 2002

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020503

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34145

County: Hampshire

Civil Parish: Whitehill

Built-Up Area: Longmoor Camp

Traditional County: Hampshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hampshire

Church of England Parish: Blackmoor and Whitehill; St Matthew

Church of England Diocese: Portsmouth


The monument includes a prehistoric round barrow cemetery of Late Neolithic or
Bronze Age date (3000-700 BC) prominently situated on a sandy ridge in Woolmer
Forest, overlooking Woolmer Pond 200m to the north west. It includes five
closely spaced bowl barrows aligned over a distance of approximately 125m
along the south western brow of the ridge and a sixth bowl barrow situated 80m
to the east. It is one of a large number of round barrow cemeteries, barrow
groups and isolated barrows located in and around Woolmer Forest, some of
which are the subject of separate schedulings.
Most of the barrows have shallow central depressions indicating possible later
excavation, and some have been damaged by the excavation of narrow slit
trenches and by heavy vehicle tracks associated with the modern use of the
area as a military training ground. They survive, however, as roughly circular
mounds, ranging from 8m to 21m in diameter and from 0.6m to 1.7m in height.
Those arranged along the brow of the ridge are spaced on average 10m apart
except for two barrows which abut one another. One barrow is surrounded by a
shallow ditch, 3m wide and 0.1m deep, from which material would have been
obtained for the mound's construction. Similar surrounding ditches, now
infilled by the later use of the monument, may also be expected to survive
around the other barrows. Further archaeological remains associated with the
original construction and use of the barrows, including burials, grave pits,
burial goods, and the original ground surface, can also be expected to survive
as buried features beneath and between the mounds.
The Ministry of Defence marker stars and fence situated on the monument are
excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them is

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 prehistoric round barrow cemetery on Woolmer Down, 540m south of Woolmer
Pond Cottage survives comparatively well despite some later disturbance and
can be expected to retain archaeological remains and environmental evidence
relating to the barrows and the environment in which they were constructed.
The monument is closely associated with a number of other round barrow
cemeteries and barrow groups within the area of Woolmer Forest which together
constitute a particularly well-preserved ritual landscape of the Late
Neolithic and Bronze Age periods.

Source: Historic England

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