Four bowl barrows 600m east and 650m north east of Haywards Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1015331

Date first listed: 26-Feb-1962

Date of most recent amendment: 09-Mar-2001


Ordnance survey map of Four bowl barrows 600m east and 650m north east of Haywards Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Dorset

District: Purbeck (District Authority)

Parish: Bere Regis

National Grid Reference: SY 82634 96689, SY 82660 96840

Reasons for Designation

Round barrow cemeteries date to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They comprise closely-spaced groups of up to 30 round barrows - rubble or earthen mounds covering single or multiple burials. Most cemeteries developed over a considerable period of time, often many centuries, and in some cases acted as a focus for burials as late as the early medieval period. They exhibit considerable diversity of burial rite, plan and form, frequently including several different types of round barrow, occasionally associated with earlier long barrows. Where large scale investigation has been undertaken around them, contemporary or later "flat" burials between the barrow mounds have often been revealed. Round barrow cemeteries occur across most of lowland Britain, with a marked concentration in Wessex. In some cases, they are clustered around other important contemporary monuments such as henges. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape, whilst their diversity and their longevity as a monument type provide important information on the variety of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving or partly-surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.

Bowl barrows are the most numerous form of round barrow, with over 10,000 examples recorded nationally. They are constructed as earthen or rubble mounds, each covering single or multiple burials. Despite some reduction by ploughing, the four bowl barrows 600m east and 650m north east of Haywards Farm survive comparatively well, and at least one is known from partial excavation to contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed.


The monument includes a group of four bowl barrows, situated on a gentle, south east facing slope overlooking the Bere valley. The barrows form part of a wider group of 11 which, together, form a round barrow cemetery on Roke Down. They fall within two areas of protection; the northern area contains a group of three barrows, while the fourth barrow lies to the south in the second area of protection. The barrows each have a mound composed of earth, flint and chalk, with maximum dimensions of between 20m-30m in diameter and 0.5m in height. Each mound is surrounded by a ditch from which material was quarried during the construction of the monument. The ditches have become infilled over the years, but each will survive as a buried feature about 2m wide. One of the barrows was partially excavated by Wake Smart in 1840 and later by Solly. These investigations revealed sarsen stones on top of the mound and a cist 0.9m deep at the base of the barrow. The cist contained a cremation beneath an urn and was associated with three unusual daggers. Three other urns and a series of glass beads were also recovered from the barrow. Excluded from the scheduling are all fence posts relating to the modern field boundary, 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.


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

Legacy System number: 28395

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 437
Mention crop mark visible on AP's, RCHME, National Monuments Record,

End of official listing