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Group of six pillow mounds 470m north west of Barnston Farm

List Entry Summary

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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Group of six pillow mounds 470m north west of Barnston Farm

List entry Number: 1015353

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Dorset

District: Purbeck

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Church Knowle

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 16-Jan-1968

Date of most recent amendment: 18-Nov-1996

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 28341

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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

Reasons for Designation

A warren is an area of land set aside for the breeding and management of rabbits or hares in order to provide a constant supply of fresh meat and skins. Although the hare is an indigenous species, the tradition of warren construction and use dates from the 12th century, following the introduction of rabbits into England from the continent. Warrens usually contain a number of purpose-built breeding places known as pillow mounds or rabbit buries, which were intended to centralise the colony and make catching the animals easier, whether using nets, ferrets or dogs. The mounds vary in design although rarely exceeding 0.7m in height. Earlier monuments such as burial mounds, boundary features and mottes were sometimes reused as breeding places. The mounds are usually surrounded by ditches and contain underlying channels or are situated on sloping ground to facilitate drainage. The interior of the mound may also contain nesting places constructed of stone slabs or cut into the underlying subsoil or bedrock. A typical warren may contain between one and forty pillow mounds or rabbit buries and occupy an area up to c.600ha. Many warrens were enclosed by a bank, hedge or wall intended to contain and protect the stock. Other features associated with the warren include vermin traps (usually a dead-fall mechanism within a small tunnel), and more rarely traps for the warren stock (known in Yorkshire as `types') which could contain the animals unharmed and allow for selective culling. Larger warrens might include living quarters for the warrener who kept charge of the site, sometimes surrounded by an enclosed garden and outbuildings. Early warrens were mostly associated with the higher levels of society; however, they gradually spread in popularity so that by the 16th and 17th centuries they were a common feature on most manors and estates throughout the country. Warrens continued in use until fairly recent times, finally declining in the face of 19th and 20th century changes in agricultural practice, and the onset of myxomatosis. Warrens are found in all parts of England, the earliest examples lying in the southern part of the country. Approximately 1,000 - 2,000 examples are known nationally with concentrations in upland areas, on heathland and in coastal zones. The profits from a successfully managed warren could, however, be considerable and many areas in lowland England were set aside for warrens at the expense of agricultural land. Although relatively common, warrens are important for their associations with other classes of monument, including various forms of settlement, deer parks, field systems and fishponds. They may also provide evidence of the economy of both secular and ecclesiastical estates. All well preserved medieval examples are considered worthy of protection. A sample of well preserved sites of later date will also merit protection.

The pillow mounds 470m north west of Barnston Farm survive well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a group of six pillow mounds, aligned north east by south west, and situated on an upper terrace of a south-facing slope overlooking the Corfe Valley. Each pillow mound has a mound composed of earth, chalk and flint, with maximum dimensions of between 13m-16m in length, 6m-10m in width and c.0.5m-c.0.75 in height. Three of the mounds are aligned north east by south west, set at right angles to the hillside, and three are aligned north west by south east, running along the slope of the hillside. The two alignments are interspaced within the group. The mounds are associated with ditches from which material was quarried during their construction. The ditches were recorded as slight earthworks in 1952, when dimensions of between 1.8m-2.2m in width and c.0.1m- c.0.3m in depth were recorded. The ditches have since become infilled, but will survive as buried features. The pillow mounds are situated to the north of a medieval manorial settlement at Barnston, with which they are likely to have been associated. This group of pillow mounds can be compared with similar features associated with a medieval settlement at Eastington, near to Worth Matravers c.7km to the south east.

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.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 48
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 48
Other
Mention quarry ditches, RCHME, National Monuments Record,
Mention survey by OS in 1929, RCHME, National Monuments Record,
RCHME, National Monuments Record,
RCHME, National Monuments Record,
RCHME, National Monuments Record,
RCHME, National Monuments Record,

National Grid Reference: SY 92928 81990

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2017. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1015353 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 19-Nov-2017 at 05:10:16.

End of official listing