Disc barrow 600m north-west of Heath Copse


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012276

Date first listed: 09-Oct-1981

Date of most recent amendment: 11-Jul-1991


Ordnance survey map of Disc barrow 600m north-west of Heath Copse
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Grafton

National Grid Reference: SU 27220 56282


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.

The Heath Copse disc barrow is an outstanding example of its class which exhibits good survival with no evidence for excavation. As the monument remains intact it has potential for the recovery of archaeological evidence for the nature and duration of use of the monument and the environment within which it was constructed. The significance of the monument is enhanced by the fact that it is an outstanding example of its class and that numerous other round barrows survive in the area as well as additional evidence for contemporary settlement. Such evidence provides a clear indication of the extent to 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 disc barrow set on a gentle west-facing slope above the floor of a dry valley in an area of undulating chalk downland. The central mound stands 1m high and is c.10m across. Surrounding this is a level berm 9m wide and a ditch, from which material was quarried during the construction of the monument. The ditch has been partly infilled over the years but survives as a low earthwork 3m wide and 0.5m deep. The monument is situated some 80m east of a pair of disc barrows and 70m south-west of a bowl barrow.

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: 12267

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing