Three bowl barrows 515m south east of East Field Farm, the easternmost known as Bolton's Barrow


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1015381

Date first listed: 12-Jul-1961

Date of most recent amendment: 17-Mar-1997


Ordnance survey map of Three bowl barrows 515m south east of East Field Farm, the easternmost known as Bolton's Barrow
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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 86049 96395

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.

Despite some reduction by ploughing, the three bowl barrows 515m south east of East Field Farm survive as upstanding earthworks and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the cemetery and the landscape in which it was constructed.


The monument includes three bowl barrows situated on a west-facing slope overlooking the Bere Valley. The barrows form part of a wider group of five which together form a round barrow cemetery. The three bowl barrows, which are arrange in an arc, include the example known as Bolton's Barrow at the north east of the group. The barrows each have a mound composed of earth, flint and chalk with maximum dimensions of between 30m-32m in diameter and between c.0.35m-c.0.6m 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 are known from aerial photographic evidence to survive as buried features c.2m wide.

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: 28351

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 437
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 437
Reference the barrow group,
Reference the barrow,
Title: Ordnance Survey 1:2500 Series Source Date: 1954 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: Mapped depiction

End of official listing