Bowl barrow on Beaminster Down 770m north east of Higher Meerhay Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1015050

Date first listed: 26-Jan-1960

Date of most recent amendment: 18-Nov-1996


Ordnance survey map of Bowl barrow on Beaminster Down 770m north east of Higher Meerhay Farm
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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: Beaminster

National Grid Reference: ST 49643 03434


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.

The bowl barrow on Beaminster Down 770m north east of Higher Meerhay Farm, despite having been partly excavated in 1874 and subsequently bombed, will include archaeological remains containing information about Bronze Age burial practices, economy and environment.


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


The monument includes a bowl barrow, one of a group of four on Beaminster Down, 770m north east of Higher Meerhay Farm. The barrow has a mound c.21m in diameter and is a maximum of 2m high. A bomb crater, immediately south of the centre is c.8m in diameter and 2m deep. Surrounding the mound is a quarry ditch from which material was excavated during its construction. This has become infilled over the years but survives as a buried feature c.3m wide. The barrow was partly excavated in 1874 by Lt Col S S Cox. In one of this group, near the middle, he found an urn inverted over cremated bones and wood ashes at a depth of 5ft (1.5m). Another urn with a cremation was found at a depth of 2ft (0.6m).

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: 27450

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Hine, R, History of Beaminster, (1914), 3

End of official listing