A bell barrow and a bowl barrow at St Michael's Middle School 60m west of the school buildings


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1015788

Date first listed: 09-Oct-1981

Date of most recent amendment: 08-May-1997


Ordnance survey map of A bell barrow and a bowl barrow at St Michael's Middle School 60m west of the school buildings
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Dorset

District: East Dorset (District Authority)

Parish: Colehill

National Grid Reference: SU 02326 01102


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

Reasons for Designation

Bell barrows, the most visually impressive form of round barrow, are funerary monuments dating to the Early and Middle Bronze Age, with most examples belonging to the period 1500-1100 BC. They occur either in isolation or in round barrow cemeteries and were constructed as single or multiple mounds covering burials, often in pits, and surrounded by an enclosure ditch. The burials are frequently accompanied by weapons, personal ornaments and pottery and appear to be those of aristocratic individuals, usually men. Bell barrows (particularly multiple barrows) are rare nationally, with less than 250 known examples, most of which are in Wessex. Their richness in terms of grave goods provides evidence for chronological and cultural links amongst early prehistoric communities over most of southern and eastern England as well as providing an insight into their beliefs and social organisation. As a particularly rare form of round barrow, all identified bell barrows would normally be considered to be of national importance.

The bell barrow at St Michael's Middle School is a well preserved example of its class and, although the adjacent bowl barrow has been levelled by the picnic and playing area, its ditch will survive as a buried feature. Both barrows will contain archaeological remains providing information about Bronze Age burial practices, economy and environment.


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


The monument includes a bell barrow and a bowl barrow, two of an original group of three round barrows which lie 30m west of the buildings at St Michael's Middle School. The bell barrow has a mound, 14m in diameter, surrounded by a sloping berm, 3m wide, and is 2m high. Surrounding the mound and berm is a ditch, 3m wide, which is visible as a depression up to 0.50m deep. Immediately NNE of the bell barrow is the site of a bowl barrow previously recorded as having a mound 9m in diameter surrounded by a slight ditch c.2m wide. The barrow is no longer visible on the surface but the ditch will survive as a buried feature. A third barrow 20m east of the bell barrow was destroyed during the construction of a new classroom and is not included in the scheduling. All fence posts and path surfaces are excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath these features 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.


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

Legacy System number: 27474

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing