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Aston Valley Barrow Cemetery
Aston Valley Barrow Cemetery is located in Wiltshire
Aston Valley Barrow Cemetery
Location in Wiltshire
Alternative name Ashton Valley Barrow Cemetery
Location Wiltshire
Region Southern England
Coordinates 51°11′07″N 2°01′48″W / 51.1853°N 2.0301°W / 51.1853; -2.0301
Type Barrow cemetery
Material Chalk
Periods Bronze Age
Site notes
Archaeologists Sir Richard Colt Hoare,
Tumuli at Ashton Valley and earthworks at Elder Valley
A pencil sketch showing, in the upper plate, the original arrangement of the barrows, from The Ancient History of Wiltshire, by Sir Richard Colt-Hoare, 1810
Artefacts from Ashton Valley
A pencil sketch showing some of the artefacts found within the barrows at Ashton Valley, from The Ancient History of Wiltshire, by Sir Richard Colt-Hoare, 1810

The Aston Valley Barrow Cemetery, or Ashton Valley Barrow Cemetery, is a group of Bronze Age bowl barrow and bell barrow tumuli located on the south facing edge of Codford Down on the west side of the valley of the Chitterne Brook, and within the civil parish of Codford, in Wiltshire, England. There were originally ten bowl barrows and a single bell barrow, but some of these have now been ploughed out. Only the bell barrow and five bowl barrows currently survive.


The site lies in close proximity to Codford Circle, an Iron Age hillfort or enclosure some 2 km (1.2 mi) to the southeast, and Knook Castle, an Iron Age hillfort a similar distance to the northwest.


Excavations at the barrows have revealed many Bronze Age and some possible Saxon urned cremations and other interments. The barrows were originally excavated by W.F. Cunnington in 1801, and recorded by Sir R. Colt-Hoare, with later excavations by the Reverend E.H. Steele in 1957; and with further correlations by Leslie Grinsell, also in 1957. Some burials and items were left in place by Cunnington, but others are now preserved at the Wiltshire Museum in Devizes.

The excavations by Colt-Hoare and Cunnington in the 1800s revealed most of the finds and interments. However, as the three-age system had not yet been introduced, and they were unable to properly date their finds, they were at a disadvantage when trying to interpret them.

The following table includes details for the eleven barrows and associated finds:

A list of the Barrows at Ashton Valley
Name/reference Location Type Size NMR number Description and finds
Barrow A
Monument no.887655
Bowl barrow 23.5 m (25.7 yd) wide by 2.2 m (7.2 ft) high ST 94 SE 54 The largest barrow in the cemetery. Finds included cremated remains of a primary burial within a large urn and other secondary remains including nine smaller cremation urns, sherds and burnt bones.
Barrow B
Monument no.887681
Bowl barrow 20 m (22 yd) wide by 1.0 m (3.3 ft) high ST 94 SE 55 Contained a probable Bronze Age cremation.
Barrow C
Monument no.887692
Bowl barrow 15.5 m (17.0 yd) wide by 0.3 m (0.98 ft) high ST 94 SE 56 No finds.
Barrow D
Monument no.887703
Bell barrow 22.5 m (24.6 yd) wide by 2.8 m (9.2 ft) high ST 94 SE 57 Surrounding quarry ditch 5 m (5.5 yd) wide and 0.5 m (0.55 yd) deep. Contained a cremation beneath an inverted Bronze Age urn along with a perforated dolerite battle-axe or hammer.
Barrow E
Monument no.887709
Bowl barrow 21 m (23 yd) wide by 0.4 m (1.3 ft) high ST 94 SE 58 Contained a primary cremation along with a granodiorite battle axe and a bone point.
Barrow F
Monument no.887713
Bowl barrow 30 m (33 yd) wide by 1 m (3.3 ft) high ST 94 SE 59,
ST 94 SE 60
Contained a primary cremation and a later Saxon inhumation along with a fir-wood bucket bound with bronze, and a possible sword or spearhead.
Barrow G
Monument no.887718
Bowl barrow now ploughed out ST 94 SE 61 Contained a circular shaft with a nearby possible cremation, and other secondary cremations with urn fragments.
Barrow H
Monument no.887751
Bowl barrow now ploughed out ST 94 SE 62 Contained a human burial in a wooden coffin.
Barrow J
Monument no.887757
Bowl barrow now ploughed out ST 94 SE 63 Contained a cremation within a crushed urn.
Barrow K
Monument no.888063
Bowl barrow now ploughed out ST 94 SE 64 Contained a cremation (possibly two) within urns.
Barrow L
Monument no.888065
Bowl barrow now ploughed out ST 94 SE 65 Contained a cremation within a crushed urn.
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