Information for record number MWA3455:
Barrow cemetery 400m northeast of Bretford, King's Newnham Lane

Summary A round barrow cemetery is located 190m to the east of Willow Farm Stables. The barrows survive as ring ditches, some of which have been partially excavated.
What Is It?  
Type: Ring Ditch, Cursus?, Linear Feature, Barrow, Henge?, Barrow Cemetery
Period: Neolithic (4000 BC - 2201 BC)
Where Is It?  
Parish: Brandon and Bretford
District: Rugby, Warwickshire
Grid Reference: SP 43 77
(Data represented on this map shows the current selected record as a single point, this is for illustrative purposes only and does not represent an accurate or complete representation of archaeological sites or features)
Level of Protection National - Old SMR PrefRef (Grade: )
Scheduled Monument (Grade: )
Sites & Monuments Record
Picture(s) attached


Source Number  

1 At Newnham Regis, between Brinklow and Wolston, there are signs of ancient habitations, and three sepulchral urns were found there some time ago.
2 Near the site of the demolished church and about half a mile from the Foss was a tumulus, levelled some years ago.
3 Up to about 50 years ago a tumulus stood not far from the chapel, in which was found a skeleton of unusually large size buried in an upright position.
6 Air photos indicate at least six ring ditches. These vary between about 20 and 50m in diameter. Some of the ring ditches have two concentric rings. Two are located within a larger elongated enclosure (see MWA5676).
7 The site was partially excavated in 1968. The excavator identified a possible cursus, henge and cremation cemetery.
8 In advance of the laying of a gas pipeline, excavations were carried out in 1989-90. A 10m corridor was excavated, touching the large, northern ring ditch in a group of three, and adjacent linear ditches. The latter were found to postdate the ring ditch. No burials or any other contemporary features were identified, though a single sherd of possible Bronze Age pottery was recovered from the ring ditch. A small quantity of Mesolithic and earlier Neolithic flint was recovered from beneath the area of the central mound and a few similar flakes were found in the ditch. Other features, including Romano British gullies and undated pit alignments and posthole formations were excavated along the pipeline corridor.
9 Interim report for above excavations. These supported the interpretation of at least this ring ditch as the ditch of a probable burial mound rather than a henge. There is documentary and physical evidence of a central mound, respected by the later linear ditch. The mound is likely to have still been visible in the 16th century when the site housed a rabbit warren referred to in the 18th century as 'Coney Hills'. A series of sterile pits in the ditch interior probably relate to this warren. Other excavated features included a small curving gully which contained sherds of what may be the earliest known pottery in the county, dating from circa 3200-2800 BC.
13 The cropmarks seen on aerial photographs were mapped as part of the English Heritage National Mapping Project.
14 This monument, which falls into two areas, includes a round barrow cemetery situated on a relatively level area between two tributaries and overlooking the River Avon. The cemetery survives as entirely buried structures, layers and deposits visible on aerial photographs as crop and soil marks and includes at least six circular ring ditches of between 20 to 50m in diameter. Some of the barrows are depicted by double concentric ring ditches, some have internal features and at least two are located within a larger elongated enclosure identified by some as a possible cursus or cremation cemetery. Partial excavations in 1968 and 1989-90 found that the largest ring ditch had been re-cut at least once and produced finds of Mesolithic, Neolithic and Bronze Age date other examples produced urns and cremations. The ring ditches were identified by the excavators in 1968 as being small henges but the later excavations confirmed the interpretation as burial barrows was most likely. There are 19th century references to a cremation, glass bead and urns having originated from these barrows.

Source No: 10
Source Type: Aerial Photograph
Title: SP4377 Frame 39
Author/originator: J Pickering
Date: 19/7/1975
Page Number: Frame 39
Volume/Sheet: SP4377
Source No: 11
Source Type: Aerial Photograph
Title: SP4377 Frame 36
Author/originator: J Pickering
Date: 1964
Page Number: Frame 36
Volume/Sheet: SP4377
Source No: 12
Source Type: Aerial Photograph
Title: SP4377 Frame 42
Author/originator: J Pickering
Date: 25/7/1974
Page Number: Frame 42
Volume/Sheet: SP4377
Source No: 13
Source Type: Aerial Photograph
Title: SP4377 Frame 58
Author/originator: J Pickering
Date: 28/6/1978
Page Number: Frame 58
Volume/Sheet: SP4377
Source No: 5
Source Type: Aerial Photograph
Title: SP4377
Author/originator: WM
Page Number:
Volume/Sheet: SP4377
Source No: 1
Source Type: Bibliographic reference
Title: TBAS 1872
Author/originator: Burgess T
Date: 1872
Page Number: 85
Source No: 2
Source Type: Bibliographic reference
Title: RSNHS
Author/originator: Knowles L
Date: 1874
Page Number: 35-7
Source No: 3
Source Type: Bibliographic reference
Title: RSNHS
Author/originator: Simpson R T
Date: 1889
Page Number: 32
Source No: 4
Source Type: Bibliographic reference
Title: AM7
Author/originator: DoE
Page Number:
Source No: 8
Source Type: Bibliographic reference
Title: WMA vol 33
Author/originator: Palmer, S
Date: 1990
Page Number: 87
Volume/Sheet: 33
Source No: 9
Source Type: Excavation Report
Title: Rugby to Ansty pipeline: Preliminary Archaeological Report
Author/originator: Palmer, S
Date: 1990
Page Number:
Source No: 7
Source Type: Excavation Report
Title: SAVRR
Author/originator: Simpson D D A
Date: 1968
Page Number:
Volume/Sheet: 5
Source No: 14
Source Type: Statuatory List
Title: National Heritage List for England
Author/originator: Historic England
Page Number:
Source No: 6
Source Type: Record Card/Form
Title: SMR Card
Author/originator: Hingley R C
Date: 1988
Page Number:
Ring ditches visible as cropmarks, King's Newnham
Copyright: Warwickshire County Council
Date: 1992
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Word or Phrase
none Scheduled Monument Scheduled Ancient Monuments (SAMs) are those archaeological sites which are legally recognised as being of national importance. They can range in date from prehistoric times to the Cold War period. They can take many different forms, including disused buildings or sites surviving as earthworks or cropmarks.

SAMs are protected by law from unlicensed disturbance and metal detecting. Written consent from the Secretary of State must be obtained before any sort of work can begin, including archaeological work such as geophysical survey or archaeological excavation. There are nearly 200 SAMs in Warwickshire.
source SMR Card Sites and Monuments Record Card. The Warwickshire Sites and Monuments Record began to be developed during the 1970s. The details of individual archaeological sites and findspots were written on record cards. These record cards were used until the 1990s, when their details were entered on to a computerised system. The record cards are still kept at the office of the Warwickshire Sites and Monuments Record. back
source TBAS Transactions of the Birmingham and Warwickshire Archaeological Society is a journal produced by the society annually. It contains articles about archaeological field work that has taken place in Birmingham and Warwickshire in previous years. Copies of the journal are kept by the Warwickshire Sites and Monuments Record. back
source WMA West Midlands Archaeology. This publication contains a short description for each of the sites where archaeological work has taken place in the previous year. It covers Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, West Midlands and Worcestershire. Some of these descriptions include photographs, plans and drawings of the sites and/or the finds that have been discovered. The publication is produced by the Council For British Archaeology (CBA) West Midlands and is published annually. Copies are held at the Warwickshire Sites and Monuments Record. back
technique Cropmark Cropmarks appear as light and dark marks in growing and ripening crops. These marks relate to differences in the soil below. For example, parched lines of grass may indicate stone walls. Crops that grow over stone features often ripen more quickly and are shorter than the surrounding crop. This is because there is less moisture in the soil where the wall lies.

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technique excavation Archaeologists excavate sites so that they can find information and recover archaeological materials before they are destroyed by erosion, construction or changes in land-use.

Depending on how complicated and widespread the archaeological deposits are, excavation can be done by hand or with heavy machinery. Archaeologists may excavate a site in a number of ways; either by open area excavation, by digging a test pit or a trial trench.
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technique Aerial Photograph Aerial photographs are taken during an aerial survey, which involves looking at the ground from above. It is usually easier to see cropmarks and earthworks when they are viewed from above. Aerial photographs help archaeologists to record what they see and to identify new sites. There are two kinds of aerial photographs; oblique and vertical. back
period Mesolithic About 10,000 BC to 4001 BC

Mesolithic means 'Middle Stone Age'. It is the period that comes between the Palaeolithic (Old Stone Age) and the Neolithic (New Stone Age).

The Mesolithic period is a period of transition from the way people were living during the Palaeolithic period as hunter-gatherers to the development of farming in the Neolithic period.
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period Neolithic About 4000 BC to 2351 BC

The word ‘Neolithic’ means ‘New Stone Age’. Archaeologists split up the Neolithic period into three phases; early, middle and late. The Neolithic period comes after the Mesolithic period and before the Bronze Age.

People in the Neolithic period hunted and gathered food as their ancestors had but they were also began to farm. They kept animals and grew crops. This meant that they were able to settle more permanently in one location instead of constantly moving from place to place to look for food.
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period Bronze Age About 2500 BC to 700 BC

The Bronze Age comes after the Neolithic period and before the Iron Age.

The day to day life of people in the Bronze Age probably changed little from how their ancestors had lived during the Neolithic period. They still lived in farmsteads, growing crops and rearing animals.

During the Bronze Age people discovered how to use bronze, an alloy of tin and copper (hence the name that has given to this era). They used it to make their tools and other objects, although they continued to use flint and a range of organic materials as well. A range of bronze axes, palstaves and spears has been found in Warwickshire.
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monument BARROW * Artificial mound of earth, turf and/or stone, normally constructed to contain or conceal burials. Use specific type where known. back
monument CREMATION CEMETERY * A cemetery comprising exclusively cremated human remains, some or all of which may be contained within pottery vessels. back
monument CREMATION * A funeral rite in which the human body is burnt, usually on a pyre, leaving fragmentary charred or completely combusted remains. Often found buried, occasionally in a container associated with grave goods. back
monument LAYER * An archaeological unit of soil in a horizontal plane which may seal features or be cut through by other features. back
monument HENGE * Circular or sub-circular enclosure defined by a bank and (usually internal) ditch, with one or two (rarely more) entrances. Of ceremonial/ritual function, they contain a variety of internal features including timber or stone circles. back
monument SITE * Unclassifiable site with minimal information. Specify site type wherever possible. back
monument URN * A garden ornament, usually of stone or metal, designed in the the form of a vase used to receive the ashes of the dead. back
monument FEATURE * Areas of indeterminate function. back
monument RABBIT WARREN * An area used for the breeding and rearing of rabbits. back
monument BARROW CEMETERY * A cluster of closely spaced barrows and related monuments (eg. ring ditches). Use with specific barrow-types where known. back
monument GULLY * A deep gutter, drain or sink. back
monument CHURCH * A building used for public Christian worship. Use more specific type where known. back
monument CURSUS * A long narrow rectangular earthwork enclosure of Neolithic date, usually defined by a bank and ditch and presumed to be of ceremonial function. Known examples range in length from less than 100m to c.10km. back
monument PIT * A hole or cavity in the ground, either natural or the result of excavation. Use more specific type where known. back
monument PIT ALIGNMENT * A single line, or pair of roughly parallel lines, of pits set at intervals along a common axis or series of axes. The pits are not thought to have held posts. back
monument LINEAR FEATURE * A length of straight, curved or angled earthwork or cropmark of uncertain date or function. back
monument ENCLOSURE * An area of land enclosed by a boundary ditch, bank, wall, palisade or other similar barrier. Use specific type where known. back
monument CEMETERY * An area of ground, set apart for the burial of the dead. back
monument RING DITCH * Circular or near circular ditches, usually seen as cropmarks. Use the term where the function is unknown. Ring ditches may be the remains of ploughed out round barrows, round houses, or of modern features such as searchlight emplacements. back
monument DITCH * A long and narrow hollow or trench dug in the ground, often used to carry water though it may be dry for much of the year. back
monument CHAPEL * A freestanding building, or a room or recess serving as a place of Christian worship in a church or other building. Use more specific type where known. back
monument BURIAL * An interment of human or animal remains. Use specific type where known. If component use with wider site type. Use FUNERARY SITE for optimum retrieval in searches. back
monument STRUCTURE * A construction of unknown function, either extant or implied by archaeological evidence. If known, use more specific type. back
monument STABLE * A building in which horses are accommodated. back
monument PIPELINE * A conduit or pipes, used primarily for conveying petroleum from oil wells to a refinery, or for supplying water to a town or district, etc. back
monument SIGN * A board, wall painting or other structure displaying advice, giving information or directions back
monument ROUND * A small, Iron Age/Romano-British enclosed settlement found in South West England. back
monument MOUND * A natural or artificial elevation of earth or stones, such as the earth heaped upon a grave. Use more specific type where known. back
monument FARM * A tract of land, often including a farmhouse and ancillary buildings, used for the purpose of cultivation and the rearing of livestock, etc. Use more specific type where known. back

* Copyright of English Heritage (1999)

English Heritage National Monuments Record