The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

North Down

Barrow / Cairn Cemetery


Hemp Knoll Barrow

Monument No. 215555

Details of Barrow on Pastscape

Bronze Age bowl barrow, Grinsell's Bishops Cannings 81. Excavated in 1965, the mound had been constructed over a group of 5 Neolithic pits containing flint implements, pottery, antler and animal bone. The primary burial comprised an inhumation with pottery, wristguard and beaker. There were traces of some kind of wooden structure associated with the grave, presumably a coffin. The presence of an ox skull and four feet suggests that the interment had been covered by an ox-hide. A single secondary cremation was contained in an inverted food vessel. The round barrow is visible as an earthwork mound on aerial photographs but has been ploughed level and the outer ditch of the mound, and a possible central pit are visible as cropmarks on more recent aerial photographs.

(SU 0686 6733) Tumulus (NR) (1)
A bowl barrow south-west of Beckhampton Firs, Bishop's Cannings 81, was totaly excavated in 1965 by Mrs M E Robertson-Mackay on behalf of the Ministry of Works. The excavation revealed that the barrow, 56 ft in overall diameter, with an irregular ditch 3 ft wide by approx 2 ft deep, had been constructed over a Neolithic occupation site consisting of five roughly circular pits. Finds from the pits included flint scrapers, piercer, hammer stones and flakes, Windmill Hill pottery, antler tines and animal bones. The primary grave of the barrow, which seemingly had been covered by an indeterminate structure, at least partially constructed of wood, contained a male inhumation, with wrist-guard, toggle and bell beaker. An unaccompanied satellite inhumation of a child lay near the primary burial. A single secondary burial consisted of a cremation in an inverted food vessel. An irregular length of disconnected barrow ditch 23 ft long had been dug outside the barrow on the east side. (2-3) SU 0685 6733: The soilmark of the barrow ditch 19.0m diameter, in ploughland, is all that remains.
Resurveyed at 1:2500, utilizing OS APs. (4)
Final publication of the excavation (5). A radiocarbon date of 2630 +/- 80 bc was obtained from animal bone from one of the Neolithic pits. The indeterminate structure containing the primary inhumation is interpreted as having been a wooden coffin. In the grave fill but outside the coffin was the complete head and four feet of an ox. (See SU 06 NE 120 for note on ditch terminal encountered north of the barrow during excavation). (5)
The Bronze Age round barrow described by the previous authorities is visible as an earthwork mound, and after being ploughed level, the outer ditch of the mound, and a possible central pit are visible as cropmarks and these have been mapped from aerial photographs. The barrow appears to be 20m in diameter and is situated at the grid reference stated by aithority 1. It is possible the central pit represents a burial pit or is the result of the excavations described above. The barrow, as authority 5 suggests appears to have acted as a possible marker for a ditched boundary (described in SU 06 NE 120). (6)
Chance Posted by Chance
17th August 2013ce

Comments (0)

You must be logged in to add a comment