Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Saucer barrow 90m east of Ell Clough

A Scheduled Monument in Briercliffe, Lancashire

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Latitude: 53.8033 / 53°48'11"N

Longitude: -2.1503 / 2°9'0"W

OS Eastings: 390199.643752

OS Northings: 434124.138763

OS Grid: SD901341

Mapcode National: GBR FSFG.8C

Mapcode Global: WHB7Y.YN7N

Entry Name: Saucer barrow 90m east of Ell Clough

Scheduled Date: 12 November 1928

Last Amended: 26 July 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009116

English Heritage Legacy ID: 23727

County: Lancashire

Civil Parish: Briercliffe

Traditional County: Lancashire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lancashire


The monument includes a saucer barrow located in the bend of a track on
enclosed moorland 90m east of Ell Clough. It includes a circular mound of
earth and stones 14m in diameter and up to 0.4m high which is surrounded by a
ditch 1.5m wide by 0.2m deep. Flanking this ditch is an outer bank measuring
up to 2.5m wide and 0.2m-1m high. At the centre of the mound there is a
circular hollow 2.5m in diameter by 0.25m deep which marks the site of a
limited antiquarian excavation undertaken in 1887 during which charcoal and
burnt human bones were found.

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 limited antiquarian investigation of the monument's centre, the saucer
barrow 90m east of Ell Clough survives reasonably well and is a rare example
of this class of monument in north west England. This investigation located
human remains, and further evidence of interments will exist within the barrow
and upon the old landsurface beneath.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Barnes, B, Man and the changing landscape, (1982), 100
'Trans Lancs & Chesh Antiq Soc' in Proceedings-Stone Circles and Ancient Relicts at Extwistle, , Vol. II, (1893), 159
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Fancy Barrows, (1988)

Source: Historic England

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