Saucer barrow 600m west of Beckhampton Buildings


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012193

Date first listed: 19-Sep-1955

Date of most recent amendment: 27-Nov-1991


Ordnance survey map of Saucer barrow 600m west of Beckhampton Buildings
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Bishops Cannings

National Grid Reference: SU 06647 68019


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. They occur either in isolation or in barrow cemeteries (closely-spaced groups of round barrows) and 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 disturbance to the monument caused by cultivation, the barrow west of Beckhampton Buildings survives as a low earthwork and retains significant potential for the recovery of archaeological and environmental remains. The importance of the site is enhanced by the fact that numerous other barrows and additional evidence for contemporary settlement in the area of Bishop's Cannings Down provide a clear indication of the intensity with which the area was settled during the Bronze Age.


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


The monument includes a saucer barrow, surviving as a low earthwork, set on a gentle south-facing slope just above the floor of a dry valley. The barrow mound has been reduced by cultivation but survives to a maximum diameter of 14m and is 0.2m high. Originally surrounding the barrow mound, but no longer visible at ground level, were a ditch and outer bank. The ditch survives as a buried feature c.3m wide while the bank, c.2m wide, has been levelled by cultivation.

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: 12203

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing