Long barrow and two bowl barrows 140m north west of Dormy House

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1014572

Date first listed: 14-Dec-1926

Date of most recent amendment: 14-Feb-1997

Map

Ordnance survey map of Long barrow and two bowl barrows 140m north west of Dormy House
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Location

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

County: Dorset

District: North Dorset (District Authority)

Parish: Tarrant Rawston

National Grid Reference: ST 91561 06664

Summary

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

Reasons for Designation

Long barrows were constructed as earthen or drystone mounds with flanking ditches and acted as funerary monuments during the Early and Middle Neolithic periods (3400-2400 BC). They represent the burial places of Britain's early farming communities and, as such, are amongst the oldest field monuments surviving visibly in the present landscape. Where investigated, long barrows appear to have been used for communal burial, often with only parts of the human remains having been selected for interment. Certain sites provide evidence for several phases of funerary monument preceding the barrow and, consequently, it is probable that long barrows acted as important ritual sites for local communities over a considerable period of time. Some 500 examples of long barrows and long cairns, their counterparts in the uplands, are recorded nationally. As one of the few types of Neolithic structure to survive as earthworks, and due to their comparative rarity, their considerable age and their longevity as a monument type, all long barrows are considered to be nationally important.

The long barrow 140m north west of Dormy House, one of several long barrows in the area, is a well preserved example of its class and will contain archaeological remains providing information about Neolithic burial practices, economy and environment. Bowl barrows, the most numerous form of round barrows, are funerary monuments dating from the Late Neolithic to the Late Bronze Age, with most examples belonging to the period 2400-1500BC. 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 have already been destroyed), occurring across 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 monunent type provides important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection. The two bowl barrows which form part of this monument, although of a more common class, are important because of their association with the earlier long barrow. Both bowl barrows will contain archaeological remains providing information about Bronze Age burial practices, economy and environment.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a long barrow and two bowl barrows 140m north west of Dormy House on the north east crest of a ridge. The long barrow has a mound 42m long, a maximum of 22m wide and 2m high, aligned south east - north west. The mound is slightly wedge-shaped, being wider at the south eastern end, and has well defined side ditches c.1m deep. On the north eastern side the ditch is 39.5m long and 8m wide, while on the south west, the ditch is 36.5m long and 10m wide. An excavation in 1896 produced two sherds of pottery and three fragments of bone. A bowl barrow, now much reduced in height, was constructed over part of the west ditch at the south west end of the long barrow mound and was recorded in 1972 as being 8.5m in diameter and 0.6m high. Traces of a ditch were recorded in 1931 and, although this is no longer visible, it will survive as a buried feature c.2m wide. A second bowl barrow, now levelled by ploughing, lies 10m to the north east of the long barrow. In 1972 it was recorded as having a diameter of 12m and a height of 0.6m and it was noted that a hole had been dug into the centre of the mound. A ditch surrounding the mound was recorded in 1931 and this will now survive as a buried feature c.2m wide. One of these bowl barrows was probably excavated in 1881 by Cunnington, revealing three primary crouched inhumations and three secondary inhumations. All fence posts are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: 27366

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Richardson, N M, 'Procs Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society' in During Season 1896-7, , Vol. XVIII, (1897), 34
Richardson, N M, 'Procs Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society' in During Season 1896-7, , Vol. XVIII, (1897), xxxiv
Richardson, N M, 'Procs Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society' in During Season 1896-7, , Vol. XVIII, (1897), xxxiv

End of official listing