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Bell barrows, the most visually impressive form of round barrow, are funerary
monuments dating to the Early and Middle Bronze Age, with most examples
belonging to the period 1500-1100 BC. They occur either in isolation or in
round barrow cemeteries and were constructed as single or multiple mounds
covering burials, often in pits, and surrounded by an enclosure ditch. The
burials are frequently accompanied by weapons, personal ornaments and pottery
and appear to be those of aristocratic individuals, usually men. Bell barrows
(particularly multiple barrows) are rare nationally, with less than 250 known
examples, most of which are in Wessex. Their richness in terms of grave goods
provides evidence for chronological and cultural links amongst early
prehistoric communities over most of southern and eastern England as well as
providing an insight into their beliefs and social organisation. As a
particularly rare form of round barrow, all identified bell barrows would
normally be considered to be of national importance.The bell barrow on Highwood Heath has survived well and contains
archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and
the landscape in which it was constructed. This barrow is one of a number to
survive on the heathland between the River Frome and the Dorset coast.
The monument includes a prominent bell barrow, one of a small group of barrows
situated on Highwood Heath, an area of lowland heath close to the Dorset
The barrow mound is 2.8m high and 23m in diameter and has a surrounding berm
or platform c.3m wide. Beyond this is a ditch from which material was quarried
during the construction of the monument. This has become partially infilled
over the years but survives as a depression 1m deep and 3m wide. Surrounding
the ditch is an outer bank although this is not clearly defined.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.
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.
This map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. This copy shows the entry on 09-Aug-2022 at 21:40:55.
© Crown Copyright and database right 2022. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2022. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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