Ancient Monuments

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Saucer barrow on Combe Hill

A Scheduled Monument in Ratton, East Sussex

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Latitude: 50.7982 / 50°47'53"N

Longitude: 0.2352 / 0°14'6"E

OS Eastings: 557617.488892

OS Northings: 102233.11914

OS Grid: TQ576022

Mapcode National: GBR MTT.SBW

Mapcode Global: FRA C6CZ.KH3

Entry Name: Saucer barrow on Combe Hill

Scheduled Date: 9 October 1981

Last Amended: 4 June 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012480

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12796

County: East Sussex

Electoral Ward/Division: Ratton

Built-Up Area: Eastbourne

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Sussex

Church of England Parish: Jevington St Andrew

Church of England Diocese: Chichester


The monument, which is situated immediately to the east of a Neolithic
causewayed enclosure, includes a saucer barrow of Bronze Age date. It is most
easily visible as a circular ditch 0.3m deep and 1.5m across. The ditch is
encircled by a slight bank on its outer edge and encloses a low dome of earth
and chalk in its interior. The whole monument measures some 14m in diameter,
and attains a maximum height above the general ground level of only 0.20m.
Although not now a visually impressive monument, the barrow survives
comparatively well; erosion has reduced the height of the mound and the depth
of the ditch compared with its original form, but it would never have attained
the height of the more common bowl barrows, examples of which may also be seen
in the locality.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

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.

Although this is a visually unimpressive monument compared with some of the
more prominent barrows in the locality, this example is one of a small number
of variants of Bronze Age barrows which illustrate a diversity of approaches
to burial practice in the Bronze Age. It retains considerable archaeological
potential since there is no evidence of antiquarian investigation of the
mound. It also lies amongst a diverse group of monuments of differing dates
and demonstrates the continued importance of the locality from the Neolithic
period through to the Bronze Age.

Source: Historic England


TQ 50 SE 13 A,

Source: Historic England

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