Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Disc barrow 780m north east of North Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Baydon, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.5113 / 51°30'40"N

Longitude: -1.6289 / 1°37'44"W

OS Eastings: 425848.078761

OS Northings: 179215.248274

OS Grid: SU258792

Mapcode National: GBR 5XK.900

Mapcode Global: VHC1B.Q86S

Entry Name: Disc barrow 780m north east of North Farm

Scheduled Date: 10 January 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017367

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30295

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Baydon

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire


The monument includes a disc barrow and a sample of the adjacent Roman road
located 780m north east of North Farm on the spine of a chalk ridge known as
Peaks Down.

The northern side of the barrow was disturbed during the Roman period by the
construction of Ermine Street and now survives as a low semi-circular platform
12m in diameter which is enclosed by a ditch 2m in width and an external bank
up to 3m wide. The stretch of Ermine Street bisecting the barrow originally
ran between the Roman settlements of Spinis (Speen) and Corinium
(Cirencester). The southern edge of the road is visible as a slight linear
ditch which continues either side of the barrow on an WNW-ESE axis and was
utilised as a woodland and parish boundary in the post-medieval period.

The disc barrow was first mentioned by Richard Coalt-Hoare in 1819 in
conjunction with an extensive prehistoric field system to the south east, a
surviving section of which is the subject of a separate scheduling.

All fence posts are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath
them is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

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 780m north east of North Farm survives comparatively well as
an earthwork which will retain archaeological information pertaining to its
construction and use. In addition the old land surface sealed beneath the
central mound and outer bank is likely to contain environmental evidence
relating to the landscape in which the barrow was placed. The adjacent Roman
road provides an unusual association.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Brentnall, H C, Popplechurch and Aldbourne Earthwork, (1944), p.495
Colt-Hoare, R, History of Ancient Wiltshire, (1819), p.37-38
Colt-Hoare, R, History of Ancient Wiltshire, (1819), p.36-37
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), p.216
Ordnance Survey, SU 27 NE 2, (1973)
Wiltshire County Council, SU 27 NE 609,

Source: Historic England

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