Two bell barrows 15m north of Well Bottom Wood, part of the Poor Lot round barrow cemetery

Overview

Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
1012029
Date first listed:
31-Oct-1957
Date of most recent amendment:
28-Jun-1995

Map

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Location

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

District:
Dorset (Unitary Authority)
Parish:
Winterbourne Abbas
National Grid Reference:
SY 59115 90655

Reasons for Designation

Round barrow cemeteries date to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They comprise closely-spaced groups of up to 30 round barrows - rubble or earthen mounds covering single or multiple burials. Most cemeteries developed over a considerable period of time, often many centuries, and in some cases acted as a focus for burials as late as the early medieval period. They exhibit considerable diversity of burial rite, plan and form, frequently including several different types of round barrow, occasionally associated with earlier long barrows. Where large scale investigation has been undertaken around them, contemporary or later "flat" burials between the barrow mounds have often been revealed. Round barrow cemeteries occur across most of lowland Britain, with a marked concentration in Wessex. In some cases, they are clustered around other important contemporary monuments such as henges. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape, whilst their diversity and their longevity as a monument type provide important information on the variety of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving or partly-surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.

The Poor Lot cemetery survives well as one of very few examples in Dorset known to exhibit such a wide range of different forms of round barrow, including some of the rare barrow types, such as pond and disc barrows. The cemetery is unusually situated within a valley bottom.

Details

The monument includes two bell barrows aligned north west-south east, and forming part of the Poor Lot round barrow cemetery, situated on the South Dorset Downs on the lower part of the south facing slope of the South Winterbourne Valley. These are two of the 44 barrows known to occur within the Poor Lot cemetery. Both barrows have central mounds composed of earth, flint and chalk with maximum dimensions of 25m in diameter and c.2m in height. Both mounds are surrounded by an outer berm or gently sloping platform 3m wide and a ditch from which material was quarried during the construction of the monument. This has become partially infilled over the years, but is known to survive as a buried feature c.4.5m wide. Excluded from the scheduling are all fence posts relating to the modern field boundaries, although the underlying ground 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.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number:
22941
Legacy System:
RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 463
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 463
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 463
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 463
Grinsell, L V, 'Procs Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Soc.' in Dorset Barrows, (1959), 167

Legal

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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