Ancient Monuments

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Two fancy barrows on Setley Plain

A Scheduled Monument in Brockenhurst, Hampshire

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Latitude: 50.7989 / 50°47'56"N

Longitude: -1.5808 / 1°34'50"W

OS Eastings: 429637.597171

OS Northings: 100010.706242

OS Grid: SU296000

Mapcode National: GBR 664.WNY

Mapcode Global: FRA 76KZ.KY2

Entry Name: Two fancy barrows on Setley Plain

Scheduled Date: 13 May 1960

Last Amended: 13 July 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008768

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20326

County: Hampshire

Civil Parish: Brockenhurst

Traditional County: Hampshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hampshire

Church of England Parish: Boldre St John

Church of England Diocese: Winchester


This monument includes two overlapping fancy barrows situated on the brow of a
slight south-west facing slope overlooking Three Beech Bottom. The northern
barrow mound measures 14.5m in diameter and stands up to 1m high. Surrounding
the mound is a level platform, surviving to an average width of 4m, a ditch,
from which material was quarried during the construction of the barrow and an
outer bank. The ditch has become partly infilled over the years, but survives
as a slight earthwork 3m wide and 1m deep; the bank is 5.5m wide and 0.7m
high. The ditch and bank are interrupted by the outer bank of the second
barrow. The overall diameter of this barrow is 42m. The second barrow mound
measures 13.7m in diameter and stands up to 1.25m high. Surrounding the mound
is a level platform, which has an average width of 10m, a ditch, which is 3m
wide and 0.5m deep, and an outer bank 3m wide and 0.6m high. The western
length of bank overlies the ditch and bank of the northern barrow. The
overall diameter for this barrow is 41m. Both barrows were partially excavated
in 1792 by R Warner who found burnt earth and charcoal. The field boundary
sitting on the western bank of the northern barrow is excluded from the
scheduling but the ground beneath is included.

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.

Despite evidence for partial excavation, the two fancy barrows on Setley Plain
survive in a particularly fine condition and are one of only two known pairs
of overlapping barrows of this type in England. Furthermore, the monument
survives within the New Forest, an area known to have been important in terms
of lowland Bronze Age occupation. A considerable amount of archaeological
evidence has survived in this area because of a lack of agricultural activity,
the result of later climatic deterioration, development of heath and the
establishment of a Royal Forest.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Warner, R, Topographical Remarks Relating to the SW Parts of Hampshire, (1793), 60 ff
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club' in Hampshire Barrows, , Vol. 14, (1938), 224

Source: Historic England

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