Round barrows on Cross Hill


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1002855

Date first listed: 04-May-1962


Ordnance survey map of Round barrows on Cross Hill
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Dorset

District: West Dorset (District Authority)

Parish: Sydling St. Nicholas

National Grid Reference: ST 62162 01646, ST 62262 01675, ST 62296 01680


Three bowl barrows 355m north-west of Upper Sydling Farm.

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. 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. Despite partial early excavation and reduction in the height of one mound through cultivation, the three bowl barrows 355m north west of Upper Sydling Farm survive well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to their construction, relative chronologies, territorial significance, social organisation, ritual and funerary practices, relationship with the adjoining enclosure and overall landscape context.


See Details.


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 27 January 2016. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

This monument, which falls into three areas, includes three bowl barrows situated on the summit of the prominent Cross Hill overlooking the dry valleys of Fisher’s Bottom and Ayle’s Bottom and the source of the Sydling Water. The barrows survive as circular mounds surrounded by buried quarry ditches from which the construction material was derived. The eastern mound measures 22m in diameter and 0.5m high, the central mound is 26m in diameter and 0.8m high and the western mound stands up to 18m in diameter and 1.7m high. The western mound has an early excavation trench on the northern side and is closely associated with an enclosure which is scheduled separately.


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

Legacy System number: DO 468

Legacy System: RSM - OCN


PastScape Monument No:-199212 and 199198

End of official listing