Two bowl barrows on Sopley Common, 680m and 640m north west of Brickfield Cottage


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016003

Date first listed: 25-Sep-1997


Ordnance survey map of Two bowl barrows on Sopley Common, 680m and 640m north west of Brickfield Cottage
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Dorset

District: Christchurch (District Authority)

Parish: Hurn

National Grid Reference: SZ 12929 97471, SZ 13123 97543


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 two bowl barrows on Sopley Common are part of a dispersed group of barrows on the heathland in this area and 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, which lies within two areas, includes two bowl arrows situated on prominent knolls on Sopley Common. The western bowl barrow has a mound, 20m in diameter and up to 1m high, which has been partly truncated on its north west side when a fire break was cleared. Seventy flint artefacts of Mesolithic date were found at the site in 1904-5 indicating that the barrow is built partly on top of a habitation site of that date. The eastern barrow has a flat-topped mound which has been partly disturbed by a wartime structure, which has now been demolished, leaving the centre and western half intact. It is 16m in diameter and 1.2m high. Fragments of sarsen are visible in the mound on the north eastern and western sides. Both mounds are surrounded by quarry ditches excavated during their construction. These have become infilled over the years but will survive as buried features approximately 2m wide. All fence posts 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: 29561

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Aitken, P, The Archaeology of Sopley Common, (1976), 3
'Proceedings of the Hants Field Club and Arch Soc' in The Mesolithic Industries of Mother Siller's Channel, Christch.., , Vol. 27, (1970), 25

End of official listing