Monk's Hole barrow, 630m NNE of Monk's Wood Farm


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


Ordnance survey map of Monk's Hole barrow, 630m NNE of Monk's Wood Farm
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Huntingdonshire (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
TL 19013 79897

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 reduced by cultivation, the Monk's Hole saucer barrow survives as a visible earthwork and will retain highly significant archaeological information. Funerary remains will be preserved in buried features beneath the mound, illustrating the function of the monument and the beliefs of the community which built it. Further remains, funerary and otherwise, may also be found in the fills of the surrounding ditch, in the area of the berm and within and below the outer bank. Environmental evidence, illustrating the appearance of the landscape in which the barrow was set, will be preserved on the buried ground surface beneath the mound and bank, and the lower fills of the ditch are also particularly important in this respect.


The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of a Bronze Age saucer barrow known as `Monk's Hole' located in an arable field near the base of the north facing slope of Stangate Hill, 700m to the east of the Great North Road (A1) and 630m NNE of Monk's Wood Farm. The central mound measures approximately 18m in diameter and survives to a height of 1m. This is surrounded by a narrow platform or berm, 2m in width, which is in turn encircled by a substantial ditch from which the material for the mound was quarried. The ditch is now largely infilled, although it can still be seen as a broad depression, c.0.6m deep and 8m wide, containing darker soil than its surroundings. The southern arc of the ditch is flanked by an external bank. This measures some 10m in width and 0.5m in height, and merges into a natural crest running across the northern side of the barrow. The barrow is considered to be Bronze Age in date, although fragments of Romano-British pottery have been retrieved from the surface of the monument and from a wider area to the north west. This material may relate to a rectangular ditched enclosure, recorded by aerial photography, which measures c.50m by 80m and abuts the western perimeter of the barrow. A margin, 10m in width, is included in the scheduling around this side of the barrow in order to protect the archaeological relationship between these two features.

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:
Legacy System:


AP notes: SMR 0819 (A), Palmer, R, Monks Holes, (1990)
Conversation with landowner, Nichols,, Monk's Hole Field, (1995)
Copy held at Cambs SMR, JB, Ordnance Survey Antiquity Model Record Card, (1971)
CUCAP (1971-6) plotted by R Palmer, BHI-11-12, BNG-44, RC8-AK 252-5, RC8-BJ 32-3, RC8-KD 56-7,


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

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