Bell barrow on Hambury Tout: the western of two round barrows on Hambury Tout


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1011483

Date first listed: 19-Mar-1968

Date of most recent amendment: 20-May-1994


Ordnance survey map of Bell barrow on Hambury Tout: the western of two round barrows on Hambury Tout
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This copy shows the entry on 22-Jan-2019 at 12:21:01.


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

County: Dorset

District: Purbeck (District Authority)

Parish: West Lulworth

National Grid Reference: SY 81581 80291


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

Reasons for Designation

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.

Despite partial excavation of the site in 1790, the bell barrow on Hambury Tout survives well and will contain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed. This barrow is one of a pair which form part of a wider group which survive along the Dorset coast.


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


The monument includes a bell barrow lying on a hilltop above the Dorset coast. The barrow mound, which includes a 2m wide berm, measures 22m in diameter and 3m high. Surrounding the mound is a ditch from which material was quarried during its construction. This has become partially infilled over the years but can still be seen as a slight depression 0.3m deep and 2m wide. The top of the barrow is flattened indicating an antiquarian excavation. Records suggest the barrow was opened by J Milner in around 1790 and that near the centre of the barrow a skeleton was found accompanied by a pottery vessel, lying above a deposit of ashes.

The triangulation point and concrete base on the north edge of the ditch 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: 21972

Legacy System: RSM


Grinsell, L. V., List of Dorset Barrows (Unpub) and Gents Mag 1790 pp 897-901,

End of official listing