Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Disc barrow 485m south west of Pawtonsprings

A Scheduled Monument in St. Breock, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.4795 / 50°28'46"N

Longitude: -4.8806 / 4°52'50"W

OS Eastings: 195720.536488

OS Northings: 68375.783483

OS Grid: SW957683

Mapcode National: GBR ZQ.QZ4F

Mapcode Global: FRA 07NS.JDY

Entry Name: Disc barrow 485m south west of Pawtonsprings

Scheduled Date: 21 March 1963

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1004405

English Heritage Legacy ID: CO 475

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


This monument includes a disc barrow, situated on the prominent upland ridge called St Breock Downs, overlooking several tributaries to the River Camel. The disc barrow survives as a circular outer stony bank measuring 5m wide and 0.4m high with an overall diameter of 21m which surrounds a low inner platform with a central mound of 6m in diameter and 0.2m high. The internal ditch is preserved as a buried feature, and the central mound had been disturbed by partial early excavation or robbing.

Further archaeological remains survive in the vicinity of the monument and are the subject of separate schedulings.

Sources: HER:-
PastScape Monument No:-430276

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

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. They occur either in isolation or in barrow cemeteries (closely-spaced groups of round barrows). 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 providing an insight into their beliefs and social organisation.

Despite partial early excavation, the disc barrow 485m south west of Pawtonsprings is a rare type of round barrow which survives well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, longevity, territorial significance, social organisation, funerary and ritual practices and overall landscape context

Source: Historic England

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