Saucer barrow 620m north of New Barn: Part of a barrow cemetery on Monkton Down


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013330

Date first listed: 17-Jun-1925

Date of most recent amendment: 10-Jul-1991


Ordnance survey map of Saucer barrow 620m north of New Barn: Part of a barrow cemetery on Monkton Down
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Winterbourne Monkton

National Grid Reference: SU 11764 72347


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

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.

The New Barn monument survives well despite partial excavation of the site in 1849. The barrow has good 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 importance of the monument is enhanced by its inclusion within a wider barrow cemetery. Such groups of monuments give an indication of the intensity with which areas were settled during the Bronze Age period as well as the variety of beliefs and nature of social organisation present within society at that time.


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


The monument includes a saucer barrow set above the floor of a dry valley on a west-facing slope in an area of undulating chalk downland. The barrow mound is 1m high and 24m across. Surrounding the mound is a ditch from which material was quarried during the construction of the monument. This has been largely infilled over the years but survives as a low earthwork 4m wide and 0.3m deep. Outside the ditch and visible all round the monument is a low bank 3m wide and 0.4m high. The monument is part of a round barrow cemetery, the core of which lies some 100m to the west. The site was partially excavated by Merewether in 1849. Finds included animal bones and sarsens under 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: 12263

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
'Proceedings of the Archaeological Institute, Salisbury' in Proceedings of the Archaeological Institute, Salisbury, (1849), 104-5

End of official listing