Saucer barrow and adjacent small bowl barrow 630m north east of Swan Lodge: part of a barrow cemetery on and around Salthouse Heath


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013582

Date first listed: 24-Apr-1978

Date of most recent amendment: 10-Oct-1995


Ordnance survey map of Saucer barrow and adjacent small bowl barrow 630m north east of Swan Lodge: part of a 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 06962 42481


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 saucer barrow 630m north east of Swan Lodge is an example of a type which is extremely rare in Norfolk and it survives well. Archaeological information concerning the construction and use of the barrow will be contained in the mound, bank and fill of the ditch, and evidence for the local environment during and prior to that period is likely to be preserved in soils buried beneath the mound and bank. The adjacent small bowl barrow also survives well and the contrast between the two illustrates something of the diversity of forms and burial rites which are represented in the round barrow cemetery as a whole. This diversity, and the evidence from limited investigations of several barrows in, on and around Salthouse Heath, indicates that the cemetery was in use over several centuries, and the evidence contained in the barrows as a group therefore has a wider importance 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 saucer barrow and a small bowl barrow located on the western side of Salthouse Heath, within a dispersed round barrow cemetery which extends over an area of c.1.3 sq km. The saucer barrow is visible as a low earthen mound encircled by a ditch and the remains of an external bank. The central mound stands to a height of c.0.4m and covers a circular area c.11m in diameter. The surrounding ditch, from which earth was dug and used in the construction of the barrow, has become partly infilled and is visible as a hollow c.0.3m deep and c.3m wide in the ground surface. The bank which runs around the outer edge of the ditch is most clearly defined on the south and west sides of the barrow, where it is c.3m wide at the base and stands to a height of up to 0.4m. The overall diameter of the barrow is therefore c.23m. The much smaller bowl barrow lies c.28m south east of this and is visible as an earthen mound c.0.4m in height, covering a circular area c.4m in diameter. Four similar small mounds, located in the vicinity of this, were excavated in 1936 and 1938 and each was found to cover an urn of Middle Bronze Age type (c.1200-1000 BC) containing cremated human bone. It is considered probable that the ground between the barrows will contain other buried archaeological remains.

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: 21370

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Clarke, R R, 'Archaeol J' in The Iron Age in Norfolk and Suffolk, , Vol. 96, (1939), 20
Wake, T, 'East Anglian Mag' in Coordinating Regional Research, , Vol. 4, (1939), 127
Clarke, R R & Grinsell, L V, 6208: North Norfolk, Salthouse,
copy in SMR File 6212, Piggott, S, Letter to A Q Watson, (1937)
NAR TG 04 SE 24,

End of official listing