Three round barrows at Crawley Clump


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1020500

Date first listed: 12-Jul-1949

Date of most recent amendment: 07-Mar-2002


Ordnance survey map of Three round barrows at Crawley Clump
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Hampshire

District: Winchester (District Authority)

Parish: Crawley

National Grid Reference: SU 44288 36268


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.

Bowl barrows are a similar, but much more numerous, form of funerary monument 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. Like saucer barrows, they occur either in isolation or, as in this case, grouped with one or more other barrows. Unlike saucer barrows, they tend not to contain grave goods, but often occupy prominent locations and are a more conspicuous element in the modern landscape. There are over 10,000 surviving bowl barrows nationally, occurring across most of lowland Britain. Disc barrows are the most fragile type of round barrow. They represent funerary monuments of Early Bronze Age date, most dating to the period 1400- 1200 BC. They were constructed as circular or oval areas 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. It has been suggested that disc barrows were normally used for the bural of women. Disc barrows are rare nationally, with about 250 examples known, most of which are in Wessex. The three round barrows at Crawley Clump survive well and can be expected to retain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the environment in which it was constructed. The monument contains an unusual form of disc barrow, and is closely associated with a group of two additional round barrows, including a saucer barrow, 340m to the west. This rare concentration of barrows of differing form establishes Crawley Down as a ritual landscape of particular significance.


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


The monument includes a saucer barrow, a disc barrow and a bowl barrow, all of probable Late Neolithic to Middle Bronze Age date (3000-1100 BC), all situated near the northern brow of a slight, east-west oriented ridge at Crawley Clump, an area of mixed woodland on Crawley Down. The three barrows are all confluent, arranged as a triangle with the saucer barrow to the north. All three barrows have been lowered and disturbed as a result of modern ploughing and forestry activities, and the saucer and disc barrows have been severely cut by the construction of a modern ride and farm track across the centre of the monument. The saucer barrow was originally recorded in 1938 as a wide central mound, 25m in diameter and 0.5m high, enclosed by a broad ditch, 6m wide and 0.3m deep, and an outer bank of similar dimensions. The ditch and bank remain visible in this form, but the central mound has now been flattened and survives as a semicircular platform, cut by the road to the west, beyond which the ditch and bank are heavily disturbed. The disc barrow, similarly, was originally recorded as a small circular mound, 13m in diameter and 0.6m high, centrally positioned on a low circular platform, 20m in diameter, and surrounded by a slight ditch and outer bank, both 5m wide. Aerial photographs indicate a second, and highly unusual, infilled ditch between the inner mound and the surrounding platform. These internal features, however, have been obscured by modern ploughing and forestry activities, and the barrow now survives as an indistinct low mound, 14m in diameter, centrally located within the shallow ditch and bank. The bowl barrow survives in better condition as a flat-topped, steep-sided, circular mound, 26m in average diameter and 1.7m high, surrounded by traces of a 6m wide ditch which is most clearly visible to the south. The ditch appears to be slightly overlapped by the banks of both of the other barrows, indicating that they may have been constructed at a later date. Despite the modern disturbance, archaeological remains associated with the original construction and use of all three barrows, including burials, grave pits, burial goods, ditch fills and the original ground surface can be expected to survive as buried features beneath and between the mounds. An east-west lynchet situated approximately 5m to the north of the monument is part of a possibly contemporary field system that lies around the barrows, but is not included in the scheduling. The piles of logs, game feeders and fence situated on the monument 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. 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: 34158

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Crawford, O G S, 'The Geographical Journal' in Air Survey and Archaeology, (1923), 347
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club' in Hampshire Barrows, (1938), 226
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club' in Hampshire Barrows, (1938), 218

End of official listing