Bowl barrow on Godlingston Hill


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1015375

Date first listed: 07-Jul-2000


Ordnance survey map of Bowl barrow on Godlingston Hill
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This copy shows the entry on 10-Dec-2018 at 21:37:46.


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

County: Dorset

District: Purbeck (District Authority)

Parish: Swanage

National Grid Reference: SZ 01458 81199


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 Godlingston Hill survives well and is known from partial excavation to contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed.


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


The monument includes a bowl barrow situated on the upper south east facing slope of Godlingston Hill, a prominent chalk ridge overlooking Swanage Bay to the south east and Poole Bay to the north east. The barrow is one of three recorded on Godlingston Hill. The barrow has a mound composed of earth, flint and chalk, with maximum dimensions of 13.5m in diameter and about 0.75m in height. This is surrounded by a ditch from which material was quarried during the construction of the monument. The ditch is no longer visible as it has become infilled over the years, but will survive as a buried feature 1.5m wide. Two small quarry hollows situated to the north west and south east of the barrow could also relate to the construction of the monument, as similar features are known to be associated with other barrows nearby. The south eastern example is 7m in diameter and the north western example has maximum dimensions of 9m in length and 4.5m in width. During the 19th century, the barrow was partially excavated by W A Miles and, later, by J H Austen. The investigations identified a cremation burial lying between two horizontal stones. Spoil from the excavations is situated to the south east of the barrow and forms a mound 7m in diameter and about 0.45m in height.

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: 28319

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, 'Procs Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Soc.' in Dorset Barrows, (1959), 33
Interpretation of quarries as later, RCHME, National Monuments Record,
Mention excavation by Austen, RCHME, National Monuments Record,
Mention excavation by Miles, RCHME, National Monuments Record,
Papworth, M D J, National Trust Archaeological Record,
Papworth, M D J, National Trust Archaeological Record,
Papworth, M D J, National Trust Archaeological Record,
Papworth, M D J, National Trust Archaeological Record,

End of official listing