Disc barrow on Litcham Common, 250m south west of Bridge Farm

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1021132

Date first listed: 24-Feb-2004

Map

Ordnance survey map of Disc barrow on Litcham Common, 250m south west of Bridge Farm
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Location

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Norfolk

District: Breckland (District Authority)

Parish: Litcham

National Grid Reference: TF 88946 17082

Summary

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

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 on Litcham Common, 250m south west of Bridge Farm, survives well as a series of earthwork and buried remains. The monument will preserve archaeological information concerning the construction and date of the barrow. Evidence for the local environment at the time of construction will be contained in buried soils beneath the mound and bank and also in the ditch fill. This disc barrow is an example of a class of monument which is rare in Norfolk. It is of unusual form, in that it includes an inner bank. It will contribute to an understanding of the character and development of the prehistoric landscape.

History

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

Details

The monument includes the remains of a disc barrow located on fairly flat ground on Litcham Common, 250m south west of Bridge Farm, and situated on former heathland in the Good Sands upland region of north west Norfolk.

The barrow is visible as a circular, flat platform, measuring about 30m in diameter, encircled by a ditch. A slightly raised sub-circular mound, approximately 3m in diameter and standing up to 0.15m in height, is situated slightly off-centre on the platform. The partly infilled ditch is marked by a hollow 3m in width and up to 0.2m deep with an inner bank, standing up to 0.10m high, visible alongside the northern portion of the ditch for a distance of 7m.

The telegraph pole is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath it 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.

Legacy

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 35077

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing