Ancient Monuments

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Two saucer barrows 250m west of John's Planting

A Scheduled Monument in Knook, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.1853 / 51°11'7"N

Longitude: -2.0615 / 2°3'41"W

OS Eastings: 395796.770315

OS Northings: 142900.538554

OS Grid: ST957429

Mapcode National: GBR 2WW.MLV

Mapcode Global: VHB56.7G0P

Entry Name: Two saucer barrows 250m west of John's Planting

Scheduled Date: 9 April 1957

Last Amended: 11 March 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007564

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12303

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Knook

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Upton Lovell St Augustine of Canterbury

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes two adjacent saucer barrows set below the crest of a
west-facing slope in an area of undulating chalk downland. The barrows are
aligned north-south and are separated by a distance of some 5m. Both have been
reduced by cultivation and, as a result, only the ditches and old ground
surface survive as buried features. Prior to cultivation the northern mound
was recorded as having dimensions of 12m in diameter and 0.5m high, while the
southern mound was 11m across and 0.7m high. Both were surrounded by a single
shallow ditch from which material was quarried during the construction of the
monument. Partial excavation of the northern mound by Cunnington in the 19th
century produced a cremation burial and a ceramic beaker.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

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.

The saucer barrows west of John's Planting are important as, despite partial
excavation of the northern mound and levelling by cultivation of the entire
site, parts of the monument survive intact and have potential for the recovery
of archaeological remains, in particular the buried ground surface and ditch.
The significance of the site is considerably enhanced both by the occurrence
of two adjacent saucer barrows, a pairing which rarely occurs, and by the
survival in the surrounding area of numerous other round barrows as well as
additional evidence for contemporary settlement. Such evidence provides a
clear indication of the extent to which the area was settled during the Bronze
Age period.

Source: Historic England

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