Group of three bowl barrows on West Hill, 650m NNE of The Glebe House


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1011480

Date first listed: 05-Nov-1954

Date of most recent amendment: 09-Mar-1994


Ordnance survey map of Group of three bowl barrows on West Hill, 650m NNE of The Glebe House
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Dorset

District: Purbeck (District Authority)

Parish: Corfe Castle

National Grid Reference: SY 95449 82374


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

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. There are over 10,000 surviving bowl barrows recorded nationally (many more have already been destroyed), occurring across most of lowland Britain. 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 and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.

Despite evidence for the partial excavation of one of the mounds, the three bowl barrows on West Hill survive well and will contain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the barrow group and the landscape in which it was constructed. These barrows are amongst a number which survive in the area of the Purbeck Hills.


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


The monument includes a group of three bowl barrows aligned broadly east-west and situated on the east end of West Hill with views to the east over the town of Corfe Castle and to the north over Poole Harbour. The western barrow mound measures 25m east-west by 20.4m north-south and is 1.5m high. The central barrow mound is 0.5m high and 16m across, and the eastern barrow mound 1m high, and 27m east-west by 22m north-south. Surrounding each mound is a ditch from which material was quarried during its construction. These can no longer be seen at ground level, having become infilled over the years, but survive as buried features. The ditches of the eastern and western barrows are c.4m wide, and that of the centre barrow is c.3m wide. The most westerly barrow is flattened and slightly hollowed which indicates an unrecorded antiquarian excavation. The post and wire fence which crosses the area is excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath 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: 21969

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Royal Commission on Historical Monuments, , County of Dorset , (1970), 443
Royal Commission on Historical Monuments, , County of Dorset , (1970), 443

End of official listing