Two fancy barrows on Setley Plain


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1008768

Date first listed: 13-May-1960

Date of most recent amendment: 13-Jul-1992


Ordnance survey map of Two fancy barrows on Setley Plain
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Hampshire

District: New Forest (District Authority)

Parish: Brockenhurst

National Park: NEW FOREST

National Grid Reference: SU 29636 00010


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

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.

Despite evidence for partial excavation, the two fancy barrows on Setley Plain survive in a particularly fine condition and are one of only two known pairs of overlapping barrows of this type in England. Furthermore, the monument survives within the New Forest, an area known to have been important in terms of lowland Bronze Age occupation. A considerable amount of archaeological evidence has survived in this area because of a lack of agricultural activity, the result of later climatic deterioration, development of heath and the establishment of a Royal Forest.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


This monument includes two overlapping fancy barrows situated on the brow of a slight south-west facing slope overlooking Three Beech Bottom. The northern barrow mound measures 14.5m in diameter and stands up to 1m high. Surrounding the mound is a level platform, surviving to an average width of 4m, a ditch, from which material was quarried during the construction of the barrow and an outer bank. The ditch has become partly infilled over the years, but survives as a slight earthwork 3m wide and 1m deep; the bank is 5.5m wide and 0.7m high. The ditch and bank are interrupted by the outer bank of the second barrow. The overall diameter of this barrow is 42m. The second barrow mound measures 13.7m in diameter and stands up to 1.25m high. Surrounding the mound is a level platform, which has an average width of 10m, a ditch, which is 3m wide and 0.5m deep, and an outer bank 3m wide and 0.6m high. The western length of bank overlies the ditch and bank of the northern barrow. The overall diameter for this barrow is 41m. Both barrows were partially excavated in 1792 by R Warner who found burnt earth and charcoal. The field boundary sitting on the western bank of the northern barrow is excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath 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: 20326

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Warner, R, Topographical Remarks Relating to the SW Parts of Hampshire, (1793), 60 ff
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club' in Hampshire Barrows, , Vol. 14, (1938), 224

End of official listing