Three bowl barrows 380m west of West End Barn


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


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

Dorset (Unitary Authority)
Dorset (Unitary Authority)
Milborne St. Andrew
National Grid Reference:
SY 78455 96319

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.

The three bowl barrows 380m west of West End Barn, although reduced in height by ploughing, and despite the possibility of them having been partly excavated in the past, will include archaeological remains containing information about Bronze Age burial practices, economy and environment.


The monument includes three bowl barrows 380m west of West End Barn, part of an extensive group of at least 15 barrows and ring ditches on Lord's Down. The most easterly barrow is located on the parish boundary and has a mound which is c.30m in diameter and a maximum of 1.8m high within the confines of the track running along the parish boundary. On the west and east sides of the parish boundary the mound has been depleted by ploughing, although it still survives to a height of 0.7m in the eastern field, giving it an elongated appearance. Surrounding the mound is a quarry ditch from which material was excavated during its construction. This has become infilled over the years but is visible as a slight depression on all but the western side and survives as a buried feature c.3m wide. This barrow may have been excavated by Warne in 1882 when a bone pin and a chalk object were found in a chalk cist. The southerly barrow has a mound which is c.19m in diameter and 0.3m high and is surrounded by a quarry ditch which survives as a buried feature c.2m wide. This barrow was probably excavated by Warne in 1882 when it was found to contain a primary cremation in a central cist, 4ft (1.2m) by 2ft (0.6m) and 2ft (0.6m) deep, at the base of the mound associated with a bone crutch-headed pin, tweezers, a perforated whetstone and a bronze ogival dagger. The western barrow has a mound which is 25m in diameter and 0.5m high. There is no surface indication of the quarry ditch surrounding the mound but this will survive as a buried feature c.3m wide. Aerial photographs indicate that this is the outermost of three concentric quarry ditches. This barrow may have been excavated by Warne in 1882 when it was found to contain a primary grave, 6ft (1.8m) in diameter and cut 2ft (0.6m) into the natural chalk. This contained a long-necked beaker but apparently no inhumation. The mound was 12ft (3.6m) high when excavated and was thought to have been enlarged both vertically and horizontally throughout the Bronze Age. This observation appears to be confirmed by the evidence of multiple quarry ditches. Secondary burials include the inhumation of a child associated with sherds of Beaker pottery, the cremation of a child contained within an upright urn laid in a cist, a cremation and ashes beneath an inverted urn, two cremations beneath inverted urns in a cist, and an intrusive Romano-British or post Roman inhumation 18 inches (0.45m) below the surface. Warne mentions three other possible barrows or burials adjoining the western barrow which are no longer visible and cannot be positively identified, and are therefore not included in this scheduling. All the barrows are probably situated within a Celtic field system which has been reduced in height by ploughing in this vicinity and is not included within the scheduling. All fence posts are excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath them 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.


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Warne, C, Celtic Tumuli of Dorset, (1886)
Mansel Pleydell, J C, 'Proceedings of the Dorset Natural History and Arch. Society' in The Barrows Of Dorset, , Vol. 5, (1883), 31-32


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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