Ancient Monuments

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Saucer barrow on Cold Crouch

A Scheduled Monument in Ratton, East Sussex

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Latitude: 50.7966 / 50°47'47"N

Longitude: 0.24 / 0°14'23"E

OS Eastings: 557955.551109

OS Northings: 102064.65227

OS Grid: TQ579020

Mapcode National: GBR MTT.TSB

Mapcode Global: FRA C6DZ.MBB

Entry Name: Saucer barrow on Cold Crouch

Scheduled Date: 19 June 1967

Last Amended: 9 May 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012624

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12797

County: East Sussex

Electoral Ward/Division: Ratton

Built-Up Area: Eastbourne

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Sussex

Church of England Parish: Willingdon St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: Chichester


This monument, an example of a Bronze Age saucer barrow, is located on one of
the several local summits of Combe Hill called Cold Crouch. It includes not
only the central earthen mound but also the highly visible circular ditch
around it and an outer encircling bank. This latter feature distinguishes
this monument from the more common bowl barrows, of which several examples can
be seen in the area.
The whole monument measures some 19m in diameter. The central mound survives
to a height of some 0.6m above the level of the surrounding ground, which is
unusually high for a saucer barrow. The surrounding ditch is relatively
narrow, measuring only around 1m across, and is some 0.15m deep around most of
its circuit. The encircling bank is evident as a ring of earth up to 0.2m
high and 1.5m wide, making it more visible then most similar examples. The
hollow in the centre of the mound indicates that the mound has been excavated
in the past, but no records have survived. On the SE side of the mound a
deep, roughly circular trench has been cut to house an Andersen shelter of
Second World War date. This trench has damaged the outer bank and the ditch
over a length of about 6m but has not encroached upon the central mound. The
Andersen shelter and the partially-infilled trench in which it sits are
excluded from the scheduling.

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.

Despite the local damage to the monument caused by antiquarian excavation and
by the insertion of the Andersen Shelter, the bulk of the monument survives
well and exhibits a particularly unusual form, when compared with other
examples of this class of barrow, in the relatively high central mound.

Source: Historic England

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