Bronze Age Round Barrows
Southeast of Avebury, Wiltshire OS Map Ref SU120682
OS Maps - Landranger 173 (Swindon & Devizes), Explorer 157 (Marlborough & Savernake Forest)
This group of bowl and bell barrows, some very well preserved, stand on both sides of the busy A4 road close to The Sanctuary.
Dating from the Bronze Age they are of course of much later date than the Neolithic Sanctuary and also later than The Ridgeway, an ancient trackway that starts here on Overton Hill, passes by them, and meanders across 85 miles of the North Wessex downs and the Chilterns finishing up at Ivinghow Beacon north of Tring.
The barrows are recorded are far back as AD939 in the Charter of Athelstan and by the 17th century the site was known as Seven Barrow Hill from which their alternate name of 'Seorfon Barrows' is probably derived. There are in fact around twelve barrows in this group, three of them have unusual banks and ditches and finds from the site include several cremations, a crouched skeleton in a tree-trunk coffin, bronze daggers, a bronze axe, an incense cup, a bone pin and a bone belt-hook. In one of the northernmost barrows was found the body of a 40 year old man with some leather working tools, a baby and a small child with a further three child burials and several cremations added at a later date.
Satellite image of a section of the Overton Hill Barrow group. The Sanctuary is just a few metres away to the southwest on the opposite side of the road.
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