Ancient Monuments

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Bowl barrow and a saucer barrow 200m north of Rockley Plantation

A Scheduled Monument in Ogbourne St. Andrew, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.4562 / 51°27'22"N

Longitude: -1.7658 / 1°45'57"W

OS Eastings: 416365.15645

OS Northings: 173049.943879

OS Grid: SU163730

Mapcode National: GBR 4WM.QCB

Mapcode Global: VHB40.BNTJ

Entry Name: Bowl barrow and a saucer barrow 200m north of Rockley Plantation

Scheduled Date: 17 February 1927

Last Amended: 10 September 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012197

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12208

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Ogbourne St. Andrew

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire


The monument includes a bowl barrow and a saucer barrow aligned broadly
east-west and set at the head of a dry valley in an area of undulating chalk
downland. The bowl barrow mound is 20m in diameter and stands to a height of
1m. Surrounding the mound is a ditch from which material was quarried
during the construction of the monument. This has become infilled over the
years and is no longer visible at ground level, surviving as a buried
feature c.3m wide. The barrow mound has been used as a field dump for
sarsen blocks collected from surrounding arable land. Some 15m to the west
of the bowl barrow is a saucer barrow. The monument has been levelled over
the years and it is no longer visible at ground level. The ditch, however,
survives as a buried feature c.3m wide surrounding the area of the mound.
The monument was partially excavated in 1879.

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

Bowl barrows, the most numerous form of round barrow, are funerary monuments
dating from the late Neolithic period to the late Bronze Age, with most
examples belonging to the period 2400-1500 bc. They were constructed as
earthen or rubble mounds, sometimes ditched, which covered single or multiple
burials. They occur either in isolation or grouped as cemeteries and often
acted as a focus for burials in later periods. Often superficially similar,
although differing widely in size, they exhibit regional variations in form
and a diversity of burial practices. There are over 10,000 surviving bowl
barrows recorded nationally (many more have already been destroyed), occurring
across most of lowland Britain. Their ubiquity and their tendency to occupy
prominent locations makes them a major historic element in the modern
landscape and their considerable variation of form and longevity as a monument
type provide important information on the diversity of beliefs and social
organisations amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly
representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving
examples are considered worthy of protection.

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 partial excavation of the Rockley Plantation bowl barrow mound and
levelling by cultivation of the saucer barrow, much of the monument remains
intact and survives comparatively well. This includes the old ground
surface beneath both mounds and the area of the ditches. The site therefore
has significant potential for the recovery of archaeological remains. This
importance is enhanced by the fact that numerous other barrow mounds survive
in the area, providing an illustration of the intensity with which the area
was settled during the Bronze Age period.

Source: Historic England

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