Disc barrow on Burderop Down, 1km north-east of Upper Herdswick Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1010457

Date first listed: 03-Mar-1927

Date of most recent amendment: 21-Oct-1991


Ordnance survey map of Disc barrow on Burderop Down, 1km north-east of Upper Herdswick Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Swindon (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Chiseldon

National Grid Reference: SU 16730 76418


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 having been partially excavated in 1977, the Burderop Down disc barrow survives well and has potential for the recovery of both archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the period in which the monument was constructed. The importance of the site is enhanced by the fact that numerous other barrow mounds as well as additional evidence for contemporary settlement survive in the area giving an indication of the scale and intensity of occupation during the Bronze Age period.


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


The monument includes a disc barrow set on a gentle east-facing slope in an area of undulating chalk downland. It comprises a central mound orientated north-south and with dimensions of 20m by 10m and 1m high. Surrounding the mound are a level berm averaging 20m across, a ditch and outer bank. The ditch, from which material was quarried during construction of the monument, is 8m across and 0.5m deep while the outer bank survives to a width of 4m and is 0.4m high. The monument was partially excavated in 1977. This demonstrated that the ditch was originally deep and flat-bottomed and that the outer bank may have had a turf revetment. Finds included Bronze Age pottery.

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: 12320

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Gingell, C J, 'Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society' in Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society, , Vol. 46, (1980)

End of official listing