Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Saucer barrow 600m west of Beckhampton Buildings

A Scheduled Monument in Bishops Cannings, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.4112 / 51°24'40"N

Longitude: -1.9058 / 1°54'20"W

OS Eastings: 406647.0976

OS Northings: 168019.241

OS Grid: SU066680

Mapcode National: GBR 3VP.JZ2

Mapcode Global: VHB43.XSBL

Entry Name: Saucer barrow 600m west of Beckhampton Buildings

Scheduled Date: 19 September 1955

Last Amended: 27 November 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012193

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12203

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Bishops Cannings

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Bishop's Cannings and Etchilhampton St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes a saucer barrow, surviving as a low earthwork, set on
a gentle south-facing slope just above the floor of a dry valley. The barrow
mound has been reduced by cultivation but survives to a maximum diameter of
14m and is 0.2m high. Originally surrounding the barrow mound, but no longer
visible at ground level, were a ditch and outer bank. The ditch survives as
a buried feature c.3m wide while the bank, c.2m wide, has been levelled by

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. They occur
either in isolation or in barrow cemeteries (closely-spaced groups of round
barrows) and 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 disturbance to the monument caused by cultivation, the barrow west
of Beckhampton Buildings survives as a low earthwork and retains
significant potential for the recovery of archaeological and environmental
remains. The importance of the site is enhanced by the fact that numerous
other barrows and additional evidence for contemporary settlement in the
area of Bishop's Cannings Down provide a clear indication of the intensity
with which the area was settled during the Bronze Age.

Source: Historic England

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