Ancient Monuments

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Three round barrows at Crawley Clump

A Scheduled Monument in Crawley, Hampshire

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Latitude: 51.124 / 51°7'26"N

Longitude: -1.3686 / 1°22'6"W

OS Eastings: 444286.754838

OS Northings: 136267.568315

OS Grid: SU442362

Mapcode National: GBR 856.GTN

Mapcode Global: VHD0W.70CP

Entry Name: Three round barrows at Crawley Clump

Scheduled Date: 12 July 1949

Last Amended: 7 March 2002

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020500

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34158

County: Hampshire

Civil Parish: Crawley

Traditional County: Hampshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hampshire

Church of England Parish: Crawley St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Winchester


The monument includes a saucer barrow, a disc barrow and a bowl barrow, all of
probable Late Neolithic to Middle Bronze Age date (3000-1100 BC), all situated
near the northern brow of a slight, east-west oriented ridge at Crawley Clump,
an area of mixed woodland on Crawley Down. The three barrows are all
confluent, arranged as a triangle with the saucer barrow to the north.
All three barrows have been lowered and disturbed as a result of modern
ploughing and forestry activities, and the saucer and disc barrows have been
severely cut by the construction of a modern ride and farm track across the
centre of the monument. The saucer barrow was originally recorded in 1938 as a
wide central mound, 25m in diameter and 0.5m high, enclosed by a broad ditch,
6m wide and 0.3m deep, and an outer bank of similar dimensions. The ditch and
bank remain visible in this form, but the central mound has now been flattened
and survives as a semicircular platform, cut by the road to the west, beyond
which the ditch and bank are heavily disturbed. The disc barrow, similarly,
was originally recorded as a small circular mound, 13m in diameter and 0.6m
high, centrally positioned on a low circular platform, 20m in diameter, and
surrounded by a slight ditch and outer bank, both 5m wide. Aerial photographs
indicate a second, and highly unusual, infilled ditch between the inner mound
and the surrounding platform. These internal features, however, have been
obscured by modern ploughing and forestry activities, and the barrow now
survives as an indistinct low mound, 14m in diameter, centrally located within
the shallow ditch and bank. The bowl barrow survives in better condition as a
flat-topped, steep-sided, circular mound, 26m in average diameter and 1.7m
high, surrounded by traces of a 6m wide ditch which is most clearly visible to
the south. The ditch appears to be slightly overlapped by the banks of both of
the other barrows, indicating that they may have been constructed at a later
date. Despite the modern disturbance, archaeological remains associated with
the original construction and use of all three barrows, including burials,
grave pits, burial goods, ditch fills and the original ground surface can be
expected to survive as buried features beneath and between the mounds.
An east-west lynchet situated approximately 5m to the north of the monument is
part of a possibly contemporary field system that lies around the barrows, but
is not included in the scheduling.
The piles of logs, game feeders and fence situated on 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.

Bowl barrows are a similar, but much more numerous, form of funerary monument
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. Like saucer barrows, they occur either in isolation or, as in this
case, grouped with one or more other barrows. Unlike saucer barrows, they tend
not to contain grave goods, but often occupy prominent locations and are a
more conspicuous element in the modern landscape. There are over 10,000
surviving bowl barrows nationally, occurring across most of lowland Britain.
Disc barrows are the most fragile type of round barrow. They represent
funerary monuments of Early Bronze Age date, most dating to the period 1400-
1200 BC. They were constructed as circular or oval areas 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. It
has been suggested that disc barrows were normally used for the bural of
women. Disc barrows are rare nationally, with about 250 examples known, most
of which are in Wessex.
The three round barrows at Crawley Clump survive well and can be expected to
retain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the
monument and the environment in which it was constructed. The monument
contains an unusual form of disc barrow, and is closely associated with a
group of two additional round barrows, including a saucer barrow, 340m to the
west. This rare concentration of barrows of differing form establishes Crawley
Down as a ritual landscape of particular significance.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Crawford, O G S, 'The Geographical Journal' in Air Survey and Archaeology, (1923), 347
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club' in Hampshire Barrows, (1938), 226
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club' in Hampshire Barrows, (1938), 218

Source: Historic England

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