Disc barrow 700m north-east of Sevenbarrows House: part of the Seven Barrows cemetery


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012343

Date first listed: 21-Mar-1938

Date of most recent amendment: 10-Jul-1991


Ordnance survey map of Disc barrow 700m north-east of Sevenbarrows House: part of the Seven Barrows cemetery
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Oxfordshire

District: Vale of White Horse (District Authority)

Parish: Sparsholt

National Grid Reference: SU 32844 83506


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 disc barrow 700m north-east of Sevenbarrows House is important as, despite cultivation of the site, important components of the monument still survive below ground, in particular the ditch deposits and the old ground surface. Both can provide important archaeological evidence relating to the date and function of the monument as well as environmental data relating to the period in which the monument was constructed. The importance of the site is considerably enhanced by the inclusion of the monument within the `Seven Barrows' cemetery. Such groups of barrows give an indication of the intensity with which areas were occupied during perhistory and provide evidence for the range of beliefs and nature of organisation within Bronze Age society.


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


The monument includes a disc barrow set on a gentle south-facing slope in an area of gently undulating chalk downland. Although no longer visible as an earthwork, the ditch and old ground surface which lay beneath the barrow mound are believed to survive as buried features while the ditch is visible as a soil mark from the air. The monument originallly had a diameter of c.40m and comprised an outer ditch and a level berm surrounding the central mound.

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: 12352

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing