Reasons for Designation
Bowl barrows, the most numerous form of round barrow, are funerary monuments
dating from the Late Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age, with most
examples belonging to the period 2400-1500 BC. They were constructed as
earthen or rubble mounds, sometimes ditched, which covered single or multiple
burials. They occur either in isolation or grouped as cemeteries and often
acted as a focus for burials in later periods. Often superficially similar,
although differing widely in size, they exhibit regional variations in form
and a diversity of burial practices. There are over 10,000 surviving bowl
barrows recorded nationally (many more have already been destroyed), occurring
across most of lowland Britain. Often occupying prominent locations, they are
a major historic element in the modern landscape and their considerable
variation of form and longevity as a monument type provide important
information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisations amongst early
prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period
and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of
Saucer barrows are funerary monuments of the Early Bronze Age, most examples
dating to between 1800 and 1200 BC. 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. 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 three barrows on Picquet Hill survive well and are situated at a prominent
location. Although there is some damage to the saucer barrow from chalk
digging, all three of the barrows are comparatively well preserved and will
contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to landscape
and burial practices in the Late Neolithic and Bronze Age periods.
The monument includes two bowl barrows and a saucer barrow on the summit of
Picquet Hill, an Upper Chalk promontory of Salisbury Plain with extensive
views northwards over the village of Edington and the low lying vale beyond.
The three barrows are aligned south west to north east. The saucer barrow lies
to the south west, partially overlying the central bowl barrow, while the
barrow to the north east stands slightly apart.
The mound of the north eastern bowl barrow is 0.7m high and has a diameter of
11m. It is surrounded by a ditch up to 0.2m deep and 3.7m wide, from which
material was quarried during its construction.
The mound of the central barrow is 0.7m high and 9.3m wide and is surrounded
by a quarry ditch 1.5m wide and 0.1m deep. The south western side of the mound
and ditch are overlain by the external bank and ditch of the saucer barrow to
the south west. This barrow has been disturbed by chalk digging. The area
enclosed by the ditch, which originally comprised a low mound and berm, is now
uneven and consists of hollows and small mounds interpreted as holes dug for
chalk and their associated spoil heaps. The saucer barrow is 18.4m in diameter
and up to 0.8m high, although this may represent the height of the spoil heaps
rather than the original height of the mound. The surrounding quarry ditch is
4m wide and up to 0.3m deep. This has been infilled to the south by chalk
diggers but will survive as a buried feature. A bank which lies outside the
ditch survives to the south and west measuring 4m wide and up to 0.4m high.
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.