Ancient Monuments

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Saucer barrow, 350m east of Middleton Hall

A Scheduled Monument in Middleton, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.2817 / 54°16'54"N

Longitude: -2.5685 / 2°34'6"W

OS Eastings: 363081.74422

OS Northings: 487491.33918

OS Grid: SD630874

Mapcode National: GBR BLHX.QW

Mapcode Global: WH949.JM3X

Entry Name: Saucer barrow, 350m east of Middleton Hall

Scheduled Date: 18 November 1977

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007080

English Heritage Legacy ID: CU 494

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Middleton

Traditional County: Westmorland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Kirkby Lonsdale Team Ministry

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle


The monument includes the remains of a Bronze Age saucer barrow situated just off the south west end of a south west-north east running ridge with a commanding view of the Lune Valley. At the centre of the monument is a large round mound with a height of 0.6m and a diameter of approximately 12m. The mound is surrounded by a berm, bank and ditch with the whole having a diameter of about 30m. The bank is 6m wide and 0.5m high and has opposed 1.3m wide entrances on its north west and south east sides, whilst the ditch is 2m to 3m wide and 0.20m deep. A resistivity survey of the site revealed the mound to be surrounded by a double ring ditch, which indicates that in addition to the visible earthworks at least one additional ditch is preserved as a buried feature. Further archaeological remains in the vicinity have not been assessed for designation.

PastScape Monument No:- 44076
Cumbria HER:- 2586

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Saucer barrows are funerary monuments of the Early Bronze Age, most examples dating to between 1800 and l200 BC. They occur either in isolation or in barrow cemeteries (closely-spaced groups of round barrows). 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, most of which are in Wessex. The presence of grave goods within the barrows provides 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. As a rare and fragile form of round barrow, all identified saucer barrows would normally be considered to be of national importance.
Round barrow, 350m east of Middleton Hall is well-preserved as an earthwork and geophysical survey has indicated that the monument also includes buried remains in the form of an additional ditch. The monument is of a rare type that is even rarer outside of southern England and is highly representative of its period. The monument provides insight into Early Bronze Age funerary rituals and wider insight into Bronze Age cosmologies and social organisation.

Source: Historic England

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