Disc barrow on Whitmoor Common


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1011599

Date first listed: 07-Feb-1949

Date of most recent amendment: 10-Aug-1993


Ordnance survey map of Disc barrow on Whitmoor Common
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Surrey

District: Guildford (District Authority)

Parish: Worplesdon

National Grid Reference: SU 99670 53680


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

Reasons for Designation

Disc barrows, the most fragile type of round barrow, are funerary monuments of the Early Bronze Age, with most examples dating to the period 1400-1200 BC. They occur either in isolation or in barrow cemeteries (closely-spaced groups of round barrows). Disc barrows were constructed as a circular or oval area 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. The burials, normally cremations, are frequently accompanied by pottery vessels, tools and personal ornaments. It has been suggested that disc barrows were normally used for the burial of women, although this remains unproven. However, it is likely that the individuals buried were of high status. Disc barrows are rare nationally, with about 250 known examples, most of which are in Wessex. Their richness in terms of grave goods 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 particularly rare and fragile form of round barrow, all identified disc barrows would normally be considered to be of national importance.

Despite partial excavation, the disc barrow on Whitmoor Common survives well and is a fine example of this rare form. The barrow contains both archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed.


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


The monument includes a disc barrow situated on a gentle west-facing slope in an area of sand and gravel beds. The barrow has a central mound 15m in diameter and 0.7m high, surrounded by a flat platform, or berm, between 3m and 3.5m wide. This is contained by a ditch, 3m wide and 0.5m deep which has a causeway across it in the south-east, and an outer bank 4m wide and 0.3m high. The barrow was partially excavated by General Pitt-Rivers in 1877 and a small central pit was discovered, believed to have been where a cremation burial had been deposited. To the south-east of this, two Bronze Age pottery vessels were found.

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: 20196

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, 'Surrey Archaeological Collections' in Surrey Barrows 1934-1987: A Reappraisal, , Vol. 79, (1987)
NT 80 NW 01,

End of official listing