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A platform barrow, a saucer barrow and a disc barrow 470m ENE of St Breock Beacon

A Scheduled Monument in St. Breock, Cornwall

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.4803 / 50°28'49"N

Longitude: -4.8589 / 4°51'32"W

OS Eastings: 197265.147009

OS Northings: 68404.193207

OS Grid: SW972684

Mapcode National: GBR ZS.1YST

Mapcode Global: FRA 07QS.DVV

Entry Name: A platform barrow, a saucer barrow and a disc barrow 470m ENE of St Breock Beacon

Scheduled Date: 10 February 1958

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1004404

English Heritage Legacy ID: CO 474

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: St. Breock

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: St Breoke

Church of England Diocese: Truro

Details

The monument, which falls into three areas of protection, includes one platform barrow, one saucer barrow and a disc barrow, situated on the prominent ridge called St Breock Downs, overlooking the valleys of tributaries to the River Camel. The three barrows are located in an east to west linear arrangement. The western platform barrow survives as a low flat-topped circular mound measuring up to 17m in diameter and 0.3m high, surrounded by a 2m wide and 0.2m deep ditch. The central saucer barrow has an overall diameter of 32m and survives as a circular low flat-topped mound surrounded by a 2m wide and 0.2m deep ditch with a 6m wide and 0.7m high external bank. The eastern disc barrow survives as a circular low platform of approximately 20m in diameter with a central inner mound of 7m diameter and 0.3m high. Surrounding the platform is a buried ditch and beyond this an outer bank of 3m wide and 0.2m high.
Further archaeological remains survive within the vicinity of this monument and are the subject of separate schedulings.

Sources: HER:-
PastScape Monument No:-430302

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Platform barrows, funerary monuments dating to the Bronze Age (2000-700 BC), are the rarest of the recognised types of round barrow, with fewer than 50 examples recorded nationally. They occur either in barrow cemeteries (closely-spaced groups of barrows) or singly. They were constructed as low, flat-topped mounds of earth surrounded by a shallow ditch, occasionally crossed by an entrance causeway. None of the known examples stands higher than 1m above ground level, and most are considerably lower. Due to their comparative visual insignificance when compared to the larger types of round barrow, few were explored by 19th century antiquarians. As a result they remain a poorly understood class of monument. Their importance lies in their potential for illustrating the diversity of beliefs and burial practices in the Bronze Age.

Saucer barrows are funerary monuments of the Early Bronze Age, most examples dating to between 1800 and l200 BC. They were constructed as a circular area of level ground defined by a bank and internal ditch and largely occupied by a single low, squat mound covering one or more burials, usually in a pit. The burials, either inhumations or cremations, are sometimes accompanied by pottery vessels, tools and personal ornaments. Saucer barrows are one of the rarest recognised forms of round barrow, with about 60 known examples nationally. They provide important evidence for chronological and cultural links amongst prehistoric communities over a wide area of southern England as well as providing an insight into their beliefs and social organisation.

Disc barrows, the most fragile type of round barrow, are funerary monuments of the Early Bronze Age, with most examples dating to the period 1400-1200 BC. Disc barrows were constructed as a circular or oval area of level ground defined by a bank and internal ditch and containing one or more centrally or eccentrically located small, low mounds covering burials, usually in pits. The burials, normally cremations, are frequently accompanied by pottery vessels, tools and personal ornaments. It has been suggested that disc barrows were normally used for the burial of women, although this remains unproven. However, it is likely that the individuals buried were of high status. Disc barrows are rare nationally, with about 250 known examples. They provide important evidence for chronological and cultural links amongst prehistoric communities over a wide area of southern England as well as an insight into their beliefs and social organisation.

Despite some slight disturbance, the platform barrow, saucer barrow and disc barrow 470m ENE of St Breock Beacon survive well and are a rare and extremely important group of unusual barrow types in a prominent location. They will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to their construction, relative chronologies, territorial significance, social organisation, ritual and funerary practices and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England

Other nearby scheduled monuments

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