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Long barrow, three bell barrows, fancy barrow and a linear earthwork 800m north of Maiden Castle

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: Long barrow, three bell barrows, fancy barrow and a linear earthwork 800m north of Maiden Castle

List entry Number: 1015783

Location

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

County: Dorset

District: West Dorset

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Winterborne Monkton

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 26-Nov-1963

Date of most recent amendment: 11-Jul-1997

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 28392

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

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 long barrow, three bell barrows, fancy barrow and linear earthwork survive comparatively well. Part excavation has demonstrated the presence of archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed. The long barrow, fancy barrow and bell barrows are all rare classes of monument nationally, while the cemetery is one of three recorded in the immediate vicinity of Maiden Castle. The monument provides a valuable insight into the development of the prehistoric landscape in this area: the Neolithic long barrow acted as a focus for the later Bronze Age cemetery, while the linear earthwork appears to have been aligned on the barrow group as a whole.

History

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

Details

The monument, which falls into two areas, includes a long barrow, three bell barrows, a fancy barrow and a linear earthwork, all situated on an east facing slope overlooking the Frome Valley. The long barrow is situated 500m north of a second, and some 1000m to the north west of the causewayed enclosure at Maiden Castle. The round barrows form part of a wider cemetery of five barrows located around the long barrow. The long barrow, which is aligned north-south, is situated on a south facing slope in view of Maiden Castle. It was surveyed by the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England (RCHME) in 1955 as a mound with maximum dimensions of 97m in length, 14m in width and c.0.35m in height. The mound has since been levelled by ploughing. A pair of parallel sided quarry ditches are known from aerial photographic evidence to flank the mound. Each quarry ditch has dimensions of 97m in length and 3.5m in width; although now infilled, these will survive as buried features. The long barrow may have later formed a focus for the construction of the round barrow cemetery. At the south western end of the long barrow, a now levelled bell barrow has been identified from aerial photographs. The barrow has a central mound 3.5m in diameter, surrounded by a berm or gently sloping platform 4.5m wide and an outer ditch 3.5m wide. Although reduced by ploughing, the barrow will survive as buried deposits. To the south east is the largest barrow of the group. This is a bell barrow which now has the appearance of a mound 55m in diameter and c.3.5m in height. It is known from the RCHME survey to include a central mound 49m in diameter, surrounded by a berm 7m wide, and an outer quarry ditch 8m wide. The berm has since become incorporated into the mound and the quarry ditch has become infilled, but will survive as a buried feature. The barrow was partly excavated in 1862, when an inhumation was identified within a cist; the burial is secondary and thought to date to the Romano-British period. To the north east, a third bell barrow now has the appearance of a mound 35m in diameter and c.1.1m high. When surveyed by the RCHME in 1955, the barrow had a central mound 22m in diameter and c.1.8m in height, surrounded by a berm 4m wide and an outer quarry ditch. The berm has since become incorporated into the mound, and the quarry ditch will survive as a buried feature. The fancy barrow, situated to the south west, includes a pennanular bank c.0.45m high, defining an area 13m across. A gap 5m wide on the eastern side may represent an entrance. The interior occupies a higher level than the surrounding area. The outer quarry ditch has become infilled, but will survive as a buried feature. A linear earthwork situated to the east of the barrow group, includes a bank aligned broadly north-south. The bank was recorded as an earthwork 290m long and 5m-6m wide by the RCHME survey in 1955, broken by four gaps 10m-30m in width. The bank is now visible as an earthwork 8m-10m wide and c.0.45m-5m high. The bank is associated with a ditch to the west. This was visible in 1955 as an earthwork 5m wide. It has since become infilled, but will survive as a buried feature. The date of the linear earthwork is uncertain, but may belong to the later prehistoric or Romano-British periods. Excluded from the scheduling are all fence posts relating to the modern field boundaries, although the ground beneath is included.

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), 465
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 519
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 432
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 519
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 465
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 519
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 465

National Grid Reference: SY 66549 89265, SY 66725 89263

Map

Map
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End of official listing