Ancient Monuments

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Saucer barrow 620m north of New Barn: Part of a barrow cemetery on Monkton Down

A Scheduled Monument in Winterbourne Monkton, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.45 / 51°26'59"N

Longitude: -1.8321 / 1°49'55"W

OS Eastings: 411763.55633

OS Northings: 172346.88513

OS Grid: SU117723

Mapcode National: GBR 3VD.5LV

Mapcode Global: VHB3Z.6T99

Entry Name: Saucer barrow 620m north of New Barn: Part of a barrow cemetery on Monkton Down

Scheduled Date: 17 June 1925

Last Amended: 10 July 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013330

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12263

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Winterbourne Monkton

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire


The monument includes a saucer barrow set above the floor of a dry valley on
a west-facing slope in an area of undulating chalk downland. The barrow
mound is 1m high and 24m across. Surrounding the mound is a ditch from which
material was quarried during the construction of the monument. This has been
largely infilled over the years but survives as a low earthwork 4m wide and
0.3m deep. Outside the ditch and visible all round the monument is a low
bank 3m wide and 0.4m high.
The monument is part of a round barrow cemetery, the core of which lies some
100m to the west.
The site was partially excavated by Merewether in 1849. Finds included
animal bones and sarsens under the central mound.

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 New Barn monument survives well despite partial excavation of the site
in 1849. The barrow has good 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 importance of the monument
is enhanced by its inclusion within a wider barrow cemetery. 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 time.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
'Proceedings of the Archaeological Institute, Salisbury' in Proceedings of the Archaeological Institute, Salisbury, (1849), 104-5

Source: Historic England

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