Ancient Monuments

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Disc barrow south east of Bard Hill: part of a dispersed round barrow cemetery on and around Salthouse Heath

A Scheduled Monument in Kelling, Norfolk

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Latitude: 52.9432 / 52°56'35"N

Longitude: 1.0866 / 1°5'11"E

OS Eastings: 607489.591047

OS Northings: 342881.173793

OS Grid: TG074428

Mapcode National: GBR T8Y.KHV

Mapcode Global: WHLQV.N9M0

Entry Name: Disc barrow south east of Bard Hill: part of a dispersed round barrow cemetery on and around Salthouse Heath

Scheduled Date: 19 October 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013580

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21368

County: Norfolk

Civil Parish: Kelling

Traditional County: Norfolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Norfolk

Church of England Parish: Salthouse St Nicholas

Church of England Diocese: Norwich


The monument includes a disc barrow located towards the northern end of
Salthouse Heath, within a dispersed barrow cemetery which extends over an area
of c.1.3 sq km. The barrow is visible as a small earthen mound standing
offset on the eastern side of a circular platform which is surrounded and
defined by a ditch and the remains of an external ring bank. The mound
measures c.0.5m in height and covers a circular area c.8m in diameter, and
the platform on which it stands measures c.12m in diameter. The encircling
ditch from which earth was dug and used in the construction of the barrow, has
become partly infilled, but is marked by a slight hollow c.2m wide in the
ground surface. The bank which encloses the whole is most clearly defined on
the west side of the monument, where it stands to a height of c.0.2m and
measures c.5m in width at the base. The overall diameter of the barrow is

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

Disc barrows, the most fragile type of round barrow, are funerary monuments of
the Early Bronze Age, with most examples dating to the period 1400-1200 BC.
They occur either in isolation or in barrow cemeteries (closely-spaced groups
of round barrows). Disc barrows were constructed as a circular or oval area of
level ground defined by a bank and internal ditch and containing one or more
centrally or eccentrically located small, low mounds covering burials, usually
in pits. The burials, normally cremations, are frequently accompanied by
pottery vessels, tools and personal ornaments. It has been suggested that disc
barrows were normally used for the burial of women, although this remains
unproven. However, it is likely that the individuals buried were of high
status. Disc barrows are rare nationally, with about 250 known examples, most
of which are in Wessex. Their richness in terms of grave goods 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 particularly rare and
fragile form of round barrow, all identified disc barrows would normally be
considered to be of national importance.

The disc barrow south east of Bard Hill is of a type which is particularly
rare in Norfolk and survives well. It will contain archaeological information
concerning its construction, date and the manner of its use. Evidence for the
local environment at that time is also likely to be preserved in soils
buried beneath the mound and the bank, and in the fill of the ditch. The
barrow is a component of the largest barrow cemetery in Norfolk, and has
additional interest in that context. The cemetery includes several different
forms of barrow, and limited investigations of some of them have shown a
considerable diversity in the date and type of burial associated with them.
The evidence contained in the barrows as a group is therefore of wider
significance for the study of the character and development of the prehistoric
population of the area.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society' in Disc Barrows, , Vol. 40, (1974), 82, 100
6211; North Norfolk, Salthouse,
NAR TG 04 SE 22,

Source: Historic England

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