Saucer barrow 250m east of Windmill Hill: part of the Windmill Hill round barrow cemetery
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
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This copy shows the entry on 25-Feb-2021 at 23:04:07.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)
- Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)
- Winterbourne Monkton
- National Grid Reference:
- SU 09142 71267
Reasons for Designation
A small number of areas in southern England appear to have acted as foci for
ceremonial and ritual activity during the Neolithic and Early Bronze Age
periods. Two of the best known and earliest recognised, with references in the
17th century, are around Avebury and Stonehenge, now jointly designated as a
World Heritage Site. In the Avebury area, the henge monument itself, the West
Kennet Avenue, the Sanctuary, West Kennet long barrow, Windmill Hill
causewayed enclosure and the enigmatic Silbury Hill are well-known. Whilst the
other Neolithic long barrows, the many Bronze Age round barrows and other
associated sites are less well-known, together they define one of the richest
and most varied areas of Neolithic and Bronze Age ceremonial and ritual
monuments in the country. Round barrow cemeteries date to the Bronze Age
(2000-700 BC). They comprise closely-spaced groups of up to 30 round barrows -
rubble or earthen mounds covering single or multiple burials. Most cemeteries
developed over a considerable period of time, often many centuries, and in
some cases acted as a focus for burials as late as the early medieval period.
They exhibit considerable diversity of burial rite, plan and form, frequently
including several different types of round barrow and occasionally associated
with earlier long barrows. Where investigation beyond the round barrows has
occurred, contemporary or later `flat' burials between the barrow mounds have
often been revealed. Round barrow cemeteries occur across most of lowland
England with a marked concentration in Wessex. In some cases they are
clustered around other important contemporary monuments, as is the case both
here and at Stonehenge. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major
historic element in the modern landscape, while their diversity and their
longevity as a monument type provide important information on the variety of
beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. All
examples are considered worthy of protection.
The saucer barrow 250m east of Windmill Hill is one of a group of barrows spread across the slope to the south-east of Windmill Hill and which overlook Avebury and the River Kennet. Despite cultivation and partial excavation in 1849, the barrow survives as an earthwork and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed.
The monument includes a saucer barrow, surviving as a low earthwork, set on a
gentle south-east facing slope overlooking both the Kennet Valley and the
village of Avebury.
The barrow has a mound 30m across and c.0.3m high. Surrounding this is a
ditch, from which material was quarried during the monument's construction,
and an outer bank. The ditch has become infilled over the years but survives
as a buried feature c.3m wide. The 2m wide bank has been levelled by
cultivation although the Bronze Age ground surface will survive below the
present ploughsoil. The site was partially excavated in 1849 by Merewether who
found a crouched inhumation burial.
Excluded from the scheduling is the fence running across the northern edge of
the area; the ground beneath this feature is included.
MAP EXTRACT 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.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
- Legacy System number:
- Legacy System:
SMR SU07SE613, CAO, Round Barrow (SU07SE613), (1989)
SU 07 SE 15B, RCHM(E), Avebury 46, (1973)
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing