Disc barrow 780m north east of North Farm


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


Ordnance survey map of Disc barrow 780m north east of North Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)
Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SU 25850 79216

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 780m north east of North Farm survives comparatively well as an earthwork which will retain archaeological information pertaining to its construction and use. In addition the old land surface sealed beneath the central mound and outer bank is likely to contain environmental evidence relating to the landscape in which the barrow was placed. The adjacent Roman road provides an unusual association.


The monument includes a disc barrow and a sample of the adjacent Roman road located 780m north east of North Farm on the spine of a chalk ridge known as Peaks Down.

The northern side of the barrow was disturbed during the Roman period by the construction of Ermine Street and now survives as a low semi-circular platform 12m in diameter which is enclosed by a ditch 2m in width and an external bank up to 3m wide. The stretch of Ermine Street bisecting the barrow originally ran between the Roman settlements of Spinis (Speen) and Corinium (Cirencester). The southern edge of the road is visible as a slight linear ditch which continues either side of the barrow on an WNW-ESE axis and was utilised as a woodland and parish boundary in the post-medieval period.

The disc barrow was first mentioned by Richard Coalt-Hoare in 1819 in conjunction with an extensive prehistoric field system to the south east, a surviving section of which is the subject of a separate scheduling.

All fence posts are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them is included.

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:


Books and journals
Brentnall, H C, Popplechurch and Aldbourne Earthwork, (1944), p.495
Colt-Hoare, R, History of Ancient Wiltshire, (1819), p.37-38
Colt-Hoare, R, History of Ancient Wiltshire, (1819), p.36-37
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), p.216
Ordnance Survey, SU 27 NE 2, (1973)
Wiltshire County Council, SU 27 NE 609,


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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