Bowl barrow and a saucer barrow 200m north of Rockley Plantation


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012197

Date first listed: 17-Feb-1927

Date of most recent amendment: 10-Sep-1991


Ordnance survey map of Bowl barrow and a saucer barrow 200m north of Rockley Plantation
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Ogbourne St. Andrew

National Grid Reference: SU 16364 73050


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

Reasons for Designation

Bowl barrows, the most numerous form of round barrow, are funerary monuments dating from the late Neolithic period to the late Bronze Age, with most examples belonging to the period 2400-1500 bc. They were constructed as earthen or rubble mounds, sometimes ditched, which covered single or multiple burials. They occur either in isolation or grouped as cemeteries and often acted as a focus for burials in later periods. Often superficially similar, although differing widely in size, they exhibit regional variations in form and a diversity of burial practices. There are over 10,000 surviving bowl barrows recorded nationally (many more have already been destroyed), occurring across most of lowland Britain. Their ubiquity and their tendency to occupy prominent locations makes them a major historic element in the modern landscape and their considerable variation of form and longevity as a monument type provide important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisations amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.

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 partial excavation of the Rockley Plantation bowl barrow mound and levelling by cultivation of the saucer barrow, much of the monument remains intact and survives comparatively well. This includes the old ground surface beneath both mounds and the area of the ditches. The site therefore has significant potential for the recovery of archaeological remains. This importance is enhanced by the fact that numerous other barrow mounds survive in the area, providing an illustration of the intensity with which the area was settled during the Bronze Age period.


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


The monument includes a bowl barrow and a saucer barrow aligned broadly east-west and set at the head of a dry valley in an area of undulating chalk downland. The bowl barrow mound is 20m in diameter and stands to a height of 1m. Surrounding the mound is a ditch from which material was quarried during the construction of the monument. This has become infilled over the years and is no longer visible at ground level, surviving as a buried feature c.3m wide. The barrow mound has been used as a field dump for sarsen blocks collected from surrounding arable land. Some 15m to the west of the bowl barrow is a saucer barrow. The monument has been levelled over the years and it is no longer visible at ground level. The ditch, however, survives as a buried feature c.3m wide surrounding the area of the mound. The monument was partially excavated in 1879.

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: 12208

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing