Ancient Monuments

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Disc barrow on Burderop Down, 1km north-east of Upper Herdswick Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Wroughton, Swindon

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Latitude: 51.4865 / 51°29'11"N

Longitude: -1.7604 / 1°45'37"W

OS Eastings: 416729.53582

OS Northings: 176417.940557

OS Grid: SU167764

Mapcode National: GBR 4W7.RQW

Mapcode Global: VHB3T.FWPV

Entry Name: Disc barrow on Burderop Down, 1km north-east of Upper Herdswick Farm

Scheduled Date: 3 March 1927

Last Amended: 21 October 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010457

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12320

County: Swindon

Civil Parish: Wroughton

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire


The monument includes a disc barrow set on a gentle east-facing slope in an
area of undulating chalk downland. It comprises a central mound orientated
north-south and with dimensions of 20m by 10m and 1m high. Surrounding the
mound are a level berm averaging 20m across, a ditch and outer bank. The
ditch, from which material was quarried during construction of the monument,
is 8m across and 0.5m deep while the outer bank survives to a width of 4m and
is 0.4m high.
The monument was partially excavated in 1977. This demonstrated that the
ditch was originally deep and flat-bottomed and that the outer bank may have
had a turf revetment. Finds included Bronze Age pottery.

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 having been partially excavated in 1977, the Burderop Down disc barrow
survives well and has potential for the recovery of both archaeological
remains and environmental evidence relating to the period in which the
monument was constructed. The importance of the site is enhanced by the fact
that numerous other barrow mounds as well as additional evidence for
contemporary settlement survive in the area giving an indication of the scale
and intensity of occupation during the Bronze Age period.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Gingell, C J, 'Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society' in Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society, , Vol. 46, (1980)

Source: Historic England

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