This browser is not fully supported by Historic England. Please update your browser to the latest version so that you get the best from our website.

The Ulwell Barrow 400m N of Sheperds Farm

List Entry Summary

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.

Name: The Ulwell Barrow 400m N of Sheperds Farm

List entry Number: 1014292


The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Dorset

District: Purbeck

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Studland

County: Dorset

District: Purbeck

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Swanage

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 29-Jul-1960

Date of most recent amendment: 12-Mar-1996

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 22994

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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 limited disturbance by the construction of an obelisk, the Ulwell Barrow at the western end of Ballard Down survives well and is known from part excavation to contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed. The barrow forms part of a dispersed group of round barrows situated along the top of Ballard Down.


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


The monument includes a bowl barrow, known as the Ulwell Barrow, situated at the western end of Ballard Down, a chalk ridge of the Isle of Purbeck, overlooking Swanage Bay to the south east, Studland Bay to the north east, and heathland to the west and north. The barrow has a mound composed of earth, flint and chalk with a maximum diameter of 19.5m and a maximum height of c.2m. This is surrounded by a ditch from which material was quarried during the construction of the monument. On the eastern side of the monument the ditch remains visible as an earthwork 4m wide and c.0.3m deep; elsewhere the ditch has become infilled, but will survive as a buried feature. There are traces of a hollow in the top of the barrow mound and this is likely to relate to the part excavation of the site by J H Austen in 1857. These excavations identified a primary inhumation situated within a chalk cut grave with dimensions of 1.5m by 2.4m. The skull was covered by flat stones and the burial was associated with a handled cup of fine red ware and antler fragments. A secondary disarticulated inhumation associated with urn fragments was identified near to the centre of the mound. A secondary cremation was associated with additional urn fragments underneath a flat stone within the barrow mound. There is now an obelisk situated on the south eastern side of the mound. This dates to 1892 and was erected to commemorate `the introduction of pure water from the chalk formation into Swanage'. The obelisk was dismantled in 1941 and re-erected by the army in 1952. Excluded from the scheduling are all fence posts relating to the modern field boundaries, along with the structure of the obelisk, although the underlying ground is included in each case.

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.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Austen, J, 'Purbeck Papers' in On the Tumuli of the Chalk Range, , Vol. Vol 115, (1856), 157-8
Mention hollow in top of mound,
Name of site,

National Grid Reference: SZ 02229 81314


© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1014292 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 26-Sep-2018 at 03:29:54.

End of official listing