Ancient Monuments

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Three bowl barrows on Trow Down 520m north west and 545m west of Bigley Buildings

A Scheduled Monument in Berwick St. John, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 50.9944 / 50°59'40"N

Longitude: -2.0434 / 2°2'36"W

OS Eastings: 397051.1344

OS Northings: 121672.6669

OS Grid: ST970216

Mapcode National: GBR 2Z7.D7N

Mapcode Global: FRA 66LH.5RV

Entry Name: Three bowl barrows on Trow Down 520m north west and 545m west of Bigley Buildings

Scheduled Date: 18 July 1955

Last Amended: 15 July 2003

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020956

English Heritage Legacy ID: 35385

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Berwick St. John

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Ebbesbourne Wake with Fifield Bavant and Alvediston St John the Baptist

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument, which falls into two separate areas of protection, includes
three bowl barrows, lying just below the crest of the hill on a
west-facing slope on Trow Down 1km south east of Lower Bridmore Farm.
Two barrows lie within the first area of protection, aligned
north east-south west. The northernmost barrow has a mound 17m in diameter
and the barrow lying to its south west has a mound 12m in diameter. The
third barrow is situated 110m to the south west and has a mound 17m in
All three barrows survive up to 1.5m in height. The mounds are surrounded
by quarry ditches from which material was excavated for their
construction. These mostly survive as buried features, but are
occasionally visible as surface depressions, about 2m wide. At least two
of the barrows have central depressions suggesting that they have been
excavated in the past, and there is a Late Bronze Age rim sherd from the
group in Salisbury Museum.

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 three bowl barrows at Trow Down 520m north west and 545m west of
Bigley Buildings are a relatively well-preserved group which will contain
archaeological deposits providing information relating to Bronze Age
burial practices, society and the contemporary environment.

Source: Historic England

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