Saucer barrow on Combe Hill
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1012480
Date first listed: 09-Oct-1981
Date of most recent amendment: 04-Jun-1991
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This copy shows the entry on 21-Feb-2019 at 00:39:34.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
County: East Sussex
District: Eastbourne (District Authority)
National Park: SOUTH DOWNS
National Grid Reference: TQ 57618 02233
Reasons for Designation
Saucer barrows are funerary monuments of the Early Bronze Age, most examples
dating to between 1800 and l200 BC. They occur either in isolation or in
barrow cemeteries (closely-spaced groups of round barrows). They 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.
Although this is a visually unimpressive monument compared with some of the more prominent barrows in the locality, this example is one of a small number of variants of Bronze Age barrows which illustrate a diversity of approaches to burial practice in the Bronze Age. It retains considerable archaeological potential since there is no evidence of antiquarian investigation of the mound. It also lies amongst a diverse group of monuments of differing dates and demonstrates the continued importance of the locality from the Neolithic period through to the Bronze Age.
The monument, which is situated immediately to the east of a Neolithic
causewayed enclosure, includes a saucer barrow of Bronze Age date. It is most
easily visible as a circular ditch 0.3m deep and 1.5m across. The ditch is
encircled by a slight bank on its outer edge and encloses a low dome of earth
and chalk in its interior. The whole monument measures some 14m in diameter,
and attains a maximum height above the general ground level of only 0.20m.
Although not now a visually impressive monument, the barrow survives
comparatively well; erosion has reduced the height of the mound and the depth
of the ditch compared with its original form, but it would never have attained
the height of the more common bowl barrows, examples of which may also be seen
in the locality.
MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: 12796
Legacy System: RSM
TQ 50 SE 13 A,
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing