Ancient Monuments

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A saucer barrow and three bowl barrows on Tegdown Hill

A Scheduled Monument in Patcham, Brighton and Hove

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Latitude: 50.8759 / 50°52'33"N

Longitude: -0.1349 / 0°8'5"W

OS Eastings: 531317.650589

OS Northings: 110145.00902

OS Grid: TQ313101

Mapcode National: GBR JNK.2PZ

Mapcode Global: FRA B6LS.K80

Entry Name: A saucer barrow and three bowl barrows on Tegdown Hill

Scheduled Date: 30 April 1924

Last Amended: 5 May 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013587

English Heritage Legacy ID: 25458

County: Brighton and Hove

Electoral Ward/Division: Patcham

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Sussex

Church of England Parish: Patcham

Church of England Diocese: Chichester


The monument includes a group of four Bronze Age round barrows situated on a
spur of the Sussex Downs.
The most westerly of the group is a saucer barrow. This has a roughly circular
area of hummocky ground measuring 24m in diameter, the remains of a central
mound, surrounded by a ditch 4m wide and 0.25m deep, from which material used
to construct the barrow was excavated. The ditch is bounded by an outer bank
4m wide and surviving to a height of 0.3m. A modern track has partially
disturbed the barrow on its south eastern side.
The three bowl barrows lie to the east of the saucer barrow and have been
constructed so as to form a linear group aligned north east-south west. The
barrows each have a low, roughly circular mound around 15m in diameter and
surviving to a height of c.0.4m. The mounds are each surrounded by ditches
which have become infilled over the years but which survive as buried features
c.2m wide.
The saucer barrow was partially excavated in 1936 when a buried pit containing
charcoal and roughly worked flints was discovered in the centre of the mound.
A Late Bronze Age pottery cup was found in the ditch and this is believed to
have formed a secondary, or later, burial deposit.
The modern fences which cross the monument are excluded from the scheduling,
although the ground beneath them is included.

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.

Despite some disturbance by a modern track, the saucer barrow on Tegdown Hill
survives comparatively well, displaying visible earthworks and buried remains.
The barrow has been shown by partial excavation to contain archaeological
remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape
in which it was constructed.
Bowl barrows are the most numerous form of round barrow and are funerary
monuments dating from the Late Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age, with
most examples belonging to the period 2400-1500 BC. They were constructed as
earthen or rubble mounds, sometimes ditched, which covered single or multiple
burials. They occur either in isolation or grouped as cemeteries and often
acted as a focus for burials in later periods. There are over 10,000 surviving
bowl barrows recorded nationally (many more have already been destroyed,)
occurring across most of lowland Britain. Often occupying prominent locations,
they are a major historic element in the modern landscape and their
considerable variation of form and longevity as a monument type provide
important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation
amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of
their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered
worthy of protection.
Despite some disturbance by modern ploughing, the three bowl barrows on
Tegdown Hill survive in relatively good condition and retain archaeological
and environmental remains relating to their construction and use. The old land
surface will survive as a buried feature beneath the barrow mounds.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Curwen, EC, 'Sussex Archaeological Collections' in Sussex Archaeological Collections, , Vol. 6, (1936), 225-227
OS F2 NKB, SMR TQ 31 SW 45, (1972)

Source: Historic England

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