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


Ordnance survey map of Saucer barrow on Combe Hill
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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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,

End of official listing