Bowl Barrow, 710m south-west of Woolcombe Farm


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:
Statutory Address:
Powerstock, Bridport, Dorset


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Statutory Address:
Powerstock, Bridport, Dorset

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

Dorset (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:


Bowl barrow, of probable Bronze Age date.

Reasons for Designation

The prehistoric Bowl Barrow 710m south-west of Woolcombe Farm is scheduled for the following principal reasons:

* Degree of survival: as a well-preserved earthwork representing the diversity of burial practices, beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities; * Potential: for the stratified archaeological deposits which will retain information on the individuals buried within and, as part of a wider multi-period landscape, it will also contribute to our understanding of the continuity and change in the use of this landscape since the Bronze Age; * Group value: it is located in an area that has a dense concentration of monuments and it has a strong spatial relationship with other scheduled monuments including further burial mounds, an Iron Age hillfort and prehistoric or Iron Age field systems.


The treatment, burial and commemoration of the dead have been a distinctive part of human life for millennia, and these activities have often left physical remains. The remains of the dead have been dealt with in remarkably varied ways in the past and it appears that, in the prehistoric period especially, only a small proportion of the population received a burial which has left traces detectable using current methods. Round barrows are distinctive burial monuments which can represent both individual burials as well as larger burial groups. They are one of the main sources of information about life in this period. The main period of round barrow construction occurred in the Early Bronze Age between about 2200-1500 BC (a period when cremation succeeded inhumation as the primary burial rite), although Neolithic examples are known from as early as 3000 BC. In general, they comprise a rounded earthen mound or stone cairn, the earthen examples usually having a surrounding ditch and occasionally an outer bank. They range greatly in size from just 5m in diameter to as much as 40m, with the mounds ranging from slight rises to as much as 4m in height. They occur either in isolation or grouped as cemeteries and often acted as a focus for burials in later periods.

The bowl barrow approximately 710m south-west of Woolcombe Farm on the west side of Barrowland Lane lies close to the parish boundary between Toller Porcorum and Powerstock. It is considered to date from the Bronze Age period and is labelled as a ‘tumulus’ on the Ordnance Survey maps published in 1888 and 1902. It was first scheduled in 1958.


PRINCIPAL ELEMENTS: the monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of a bowl barrow located on chalk uplands, on the lower eastern slope of Ison Hill.

DESCRIPTION: the barrow is clearly defined as a roughly oval-shaped, rather than circular, mound which is probably due to past cultivation. It measures approximately 11m by 8m and is some 0.7m high, with a shallow depression in the centre of the mound. The surrounding quarry ditch, from which material was excavated during the construction of the mound, is no longer visible at ground level, but it is likely to survive as a buried feature.


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

Legacy System number:
DO 346
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Royal Commission on Historical Monuments England, , An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Dorset volume 1, (1952), 185
Dorset HER No.1 091 029 F


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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