Disc barrow 500m south east of Winterbourne Poor Lot


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013848

Date first listed: 22-Mar-1996


Ordnance survey map of Disc barrow 500m south east of Winterbourne Poor Lot
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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: Winterbourne Abbas

National Grid Reference: SY 59374 90332


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

Reasons for Designation

Disc barrows, the most fragile type of round barrow, are funerary monuments of the Early Bronze Age, with most examples dating to the period 1400-1200 BC. They occur either in isolation or in barrow cemeteries (closely-spaced groups of round barrows). Disc barrows were constructed as a circular or oval area of level ground defined by a bank and internal ditch and containing one or more centrally or eccentrically located small, low mounds covering burials, usually in pits. The burials, normally cremations, are frequently accompanied by pottery vessels, tools and personal ornaments. It has been suggested that disc barrows were normally used for the burial of women, although this remains unproven. However, it is likely that the individuals buried were of high status. Disc barrows are rare nationally, with about 250 known examples, most of which are in Wessex. Their richness in terms of grave goods provides important evidence for chronological and cultural links amongst prehistoric communities over a wide area of southern England as well as providing an insight into their beliefs and social organisation. As a particularly rare and fragile form of round barrow, all identified disc barrows would normally be considered to be of national importance.

Despite reduction by ploughing, the disc barrow 500m south east of Winterbourne Poor Lot is known to survive and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed. Although one of a concentration of barrows to survive in this area, the monument's position is unusual in that disc barrows are generally situated within and close to barrow cemeteries; this example is in an area between cemeteries in which no other barrows have been recorded.


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


The monument includes a disc barrow situated on a south facing slope of the South Dorset Downs, with views over the South Winterbourne valley. The barrow has a central mound 10m in diameter and c.0.3m high composed of earth, flint and chalk. This is surrounded by a berm or gently sloping platform 1.5m wide, and an outer ditch 3m wide from which material was quarried during the construction of the monument. The barrow has been reduced by ploughing since it was first recorded in the 1960s and the ditch has become infilled, although it is known to survive as a buried feature which is sometimes visible from the air as a cropmark.

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: 22987

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 463

End of official listing