Bowl barrow on Creech Barrow hill


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


Ordnance survey map of Bowl barrow on Creech Barrow hill
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Purbeck (District Authority)
Church Knowle
Purbeck (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SY 92102 82331

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 some encroachment by a field boundary, the bowl barrow on Creech Barrow hill survives comparatively 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 monument includes a bowl barrow situated on the south western side of Creech Barrow hill in the Isle of Purbeck, overlooking the Purbeck Hills to the south, Poole Harbour to the east and heathland to the north west.

The barrow has a mound composed of earth, sand and turf with a maximum diameter of 25m and a maximum height of c.2m. The mound now has a trench 1m wide and c.0.5m deep running from north west to south east, which delineates the boundary between the parishes of Church Knowle and Steeple. On the north eastern side of the mound is an excavation hollow with dimensions of 6m by 4m and c.1.2m in depth. This may mark the excavations conducted by J H Austen during the 1850s, when the remains of three primary inhumations and two secondary inhumations were identified under a flint cairn. An old field bank 1m wide and c.0.5m high encroaches on the northern side of the barrow mound.

The mound is surrounded by a ditch from which material was quarried during the construction of the monument. The ditch was recorded as an earthwork 2.5m wide and c.0.3m deep on the south eastern side of the barrow in the 1950s. The ditch is no longer visible as it has become infilled, but it will survive as a buried feature 2.5m wide.

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:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 442
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 442
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 442
Mention excavation hollow in NE,
Mention field bank to the north,


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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