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Saucer barrow: part of a barrow cemetery west of Barbury Castle

A Scheduled Monument in Wroughton, Swindon

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.4859 / 51°29'9"N

Longitude: -1.79 / 1°47'23"W

OS Eastings: 414679.520401

OS Northings: 176342.706401

OS Grid: SU146763

Mapcode National: GBR 4W6.XYR

Mapcode Global: VHB3S.XXLB

Entry Name: Saucer barrow: part of a barrow cemetery west of Barbury Castle

Scheduled Date: 3 March 1927

Last Amended: 24 September 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010468

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12310

County: Swindon

Civil Parish: Wroughton

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Wroughton

Church of England Diocese: Bristol

Details

The monument includes a saucer barrow set on a prominent ridge-top in an area
of undulating chalk downland. The barrow mound is 21m across and 0.2m high
surrounded by a ditch and outer bank. The ditch, from which material was
quarried during construction of the monument, has become partly infilled over
the years but survives as an earthwork 3m wide and 0.4m deep. The bank is 3m
wide and 0.5m high from the downhill side.
The monument forms part of the barrow cemetery comprising five barrows within
300m of each other, one of which abuts Barbury Castle.

MAP EXTRACT
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 importance of the Barbury Castle saucer barrow is enhanced by the fact
that it occurs within a barrow cemetery. These comprise closely-spaced groups
of up to 30 round barrows which often developed over a considerable period of
time. They generally occupy prominent locations, as in this case, making them
a major historic element in the modern landscape whilst their diversity and
longevity as a monument type provide important information on the variety of
beliefs and social organisation amongst early Prehistoric communities.

Source: Historic England

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