Reasons for Designation
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.
With its sub-rectangular banks and opposing entrances, Rodknoll fancy barrow
is an unusual example and, together with Hob Hurst's House, illustrates the
high degree of regional variation associated with this class of monument.
Although somewhat disturbed by partial excavation, its architectural features
survive well and it will retain further significant archaeological remains.
Rodknoll fancy barrow is situated on Brampton East Moor in the eastern
gritstone moorlands of Derbyshire. The monument is a form of saucer barrow
comprising a squat bowl-shaped mound enclosed by a ditch and an external bank.
Although the mound is roughly circular, the enclosure defined by the outer
bank is sub-rectangular and measures, to the outside of the banks, 22.5m by
21m. Although disturbed by excavation, the mound appears originally to have
been c.0.75m high and the ditch is c.2m wide and 1m deep. The bank is 2m wide
and c.0.5m high and, unusually, there are roughly opposing entrances through
the bank and ditch on the north and south sides of the monument. The barrow
was partially excavated by Court in 1940 and by the Chesterfield
Archaeological Group in 1953. Their findings were not published and so a
precise date cannot be assigned to the barrow. However, its close similarity
to nearby Hob Hurst's House indicates that it was constructed in the Bronze
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.