Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Saucer barrow on Ablington Down, 460m south west of Goat Wood

A Scheduled Monument in Tidworth, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.225 / 51°13'29"N

Longitude: -1.7201 / 1°43'12"W

OS Eastings: 419639.827185

OS Northings: 147344.704805

OS Grid: SU196473

Mapcode National: GBR 4ZL.3Y8

Mapcode Global: VHC2N.4GHS

Entry Name: Saucer barrow on Ablington Down, 460m south west of Goat Wood

Scheduled Date: 11 February 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018961

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31195

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Tidworth

Built-Up Area: Tidworth

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Milston with Brigmerston St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes a saucer barrow situated to the south west of Goat Wood
in the Bulford Ranges. The barrow, which lies on the gentle lower slope of a
north east facing spur, has a low mound 0.5m high and 40m in diameter which
slopes gently from the centre to the edge of the surrounding ditch. The ditch
is 3m wide and beyond this is a bank 9m wide and 0.4m high. The bank is
visible on the ground for its entire circuit but has been spread by
cultivation and survives best on the west and east sides.

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

The most complete and extensive survival of chalk downland archaeological
remains in central southern England occurs on Salisbury Plain, particularly in
those areas lying within the Salisbury Plain Training Area. These remains
represent one of the few extant archaeological "landscapes" in Britain and are
considered to be of special significance because they differ in character from
those in other areas with comparable levels of preservation. Individual sites
on Salisbury Plain are seen as being additionally important because the
evidence of their direct association with each other survives so well.

Saucer barrows are funerary monuments of the Early Bronze Age, most examples
dating to between 1800 and 1200 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 saucer barrow on Ablington Down, 460m south of Goat Wood, despite some
cultivation erosion, is a comparatively well preserved example of its class
and will contain archaeological remains providing information about Bronze Age
beliefs, economy and environment.

Source: Historic England

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