|FROM DOT TO DOMESDAY|
|The Bronze Age|
This group of barrows is about a mile to the west of Stonehenge. A Neolithic long barrow is at the bottom of the group (adjacent to the traffic roundabout). Running north-east from there are Bronze Age round barrows of various type. According to English Heritage:
“This remarkable group includes pairs of bell, pond and disc barrows as well as 19 bowl barrows. A further cluster of barrows, slightly to the north of the main group, is made up of 5 bowl barrows and a pair of saucer barrows.”
The most common type of round barrow, found throughout Britain, is the ‘bowl barrow’ – basically, a roughly circular mound (from about 3 metres to over 65 metres in diameter; from about 0.5 metre to over 6 metres high), the bowl-like profile of which gives the type its name. Methods of construction vary according to the local bedrock. Where the bedrock is relatively soft (as In Wessex), they tend to be surrounded by ‘quarry ditches’. Where there is a ditch, there is no intervening berm (ledge or platform). They can also have an outer bank. The internal structure, and deposits, are also very variable. The other types of round barrow at Winterbourne Stoke are sometimes collectively referred to as ‘fancy barrows’. These can be found in southern and eastern England, but are particularly associated with Wessex (Dorset, Wiltshire, Hampshire, and Berkshire).
In the ‘bell barrow’, the mound is separated from the ditch by a berm. There may also be an outer bank.
The mound of the ‘disc barrow’ is relatively small, separated from the ditch by a wide berm. Once again, there may be an outer bank.
A ‘saucer barrow’ has a relatively low mound, no berm, a ditch, and can have an outer bank.
The ‘pond barrow’ (to be pedantic, it isn't really a barrow – from the Old English ‘beorg’, meaning hill or mound – at all) is a circular depression surrounded by a banked rim. Though they do contain burials, it is thought that this was not the prime function of pond barrows. They may have had a ritual purpose.