Ancient Monuments

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Saucer barrow 1050m north-west of Hill Copse, Wexcombe Down

A Scheduled Monument in Grafton, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.3216 / 51°19'17"N

Longitude: -1.608 / 1°36'28"W

OS Eastings: 427409.781135

OS Northings: 158126.807402

OS Grid: SU274581

Mapcode National: GBR 5ZX.284

Mapcode Global: VHC2B.21RP

Entry Name: Saucer barrow 1050m north-west of Hill Copse, Wexcombe Down

Scheduled Date: 10 July 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013221

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12256

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Grafton

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire


The monument includes a saucer barrow set below the crest of a gentle NW-
facing slope in an area of undulating chalk downland. The barrow mound
survives as an earthwork 0.5m high and 12m in diameter. Surrounding the
barrow mound is a ditch from which material was quarried during the
construction of the monument. This has partly filled in over the years but
survives as a low earthwork 2m wide and 0.4m deep.

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 Wexcombe Down saucer barrow survives well with no evidence for previous
excavation of the site. It has considerable potential for the recovery of
archaeological evidence for the nature and duration of use of the monument and
the environment within which it was constructed. The significance of the
monument is enhanced by the fact that numerous other barrow mounds survive in
the area. Such groups of monuments give an indication of the intensity with
which areas were settled during the Bronze Age period as well as the variety
of beliefs and nature of social organisation present within society at that

Source: Historic England


Wilts SMR Record SU 25 NE 610,

Source: Historic England

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