Disc barrow south east of Bard Hill: part of a dispersed round barrow cemetery on and around Salthouse Heath


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013580

Date first listed: 19-Oct-1995


Ordnance survey map of Disc barrow south east of Bard Hill: part of a dispersed round barrow cemetery on and around Salthouse Heath
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Norfolk

District: North Norfolk (District Authority)

Parish: Salthouse

National Grid Reference: TG 07490 42881


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 south east of Bard Hill is of a type which is particularly rare in Norfolk and survives well. It will contain archaeological information concerning its construction, date and the manner of its use. Evidence for the local environment at that time is also likely to be preserved in soils buried beneath the mound and the bank, and in the fill of the ditch. The barrow is a component of the largest barrow cemetery in Norfolk, and has additional interest in that context. The cemetery includes several different forms of barrow, and limited investigations of some of them have shown a considerable diversity in the date and type of burial associated with them. The evidence contained in the barrows as a group is therefore of wider significance for the study of the character and development of the prehistoric population of the area.


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


The monument includes a disc barrow located towards the northern end of Salthouse Heath, within a dispersed barrow cemetery which extends over an area of c.1.3 sq km. The barrow is visible as a small earthen mound standing offset on the eastern side of a circular platform which is surrounded and defined by a ditch and the remains of an external ring bank. The mound measures c.0.5m in height and covers a circular area c.8m in diameter, and the platform on which it stands measures c.12m in diameter. The encircling ditch from which earth was dug and used in the construction of the barrow, has become partly infilled, but is marked by a slight hollow c.2m wide in the ground surface. The bank which encloses the whole is most clearly defined on the west side of the monument, where it stands to a height of c.0.2m and measures c.5m in width at the base. The overall diameter of the barrow is c.26m.

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: 21368

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society' in Disc Barrows, , Vol. 40, (1974), 82, 100
6211; North Norfolk, Salthouse,
NAR TG 04 SE 22,

End of official listing