Bowl barrow on Sheep Down, 600m east of Home Farm Cottages


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016735

Date first listed: 08-Aug-1960

Date of most recent amendment: 16-Apr-1999


Ordnance survey map of Bowl barrow on Sheep Down, 600m east of Home Farm Cottages
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Dorset

District: West Dorset (District Authority)

Parish: Littlebredy

County: Dorset

District: West Dorset (District Authority)

Parish: Winterbourne Steepleton

National Grid Reference: SY 60088 88332


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 Sheep Down, 600m east of Home Farm Cottage survives well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed. The barrow also supports a parish boundary bank, the construction of which will have preserved a buried ground surface and associated archaeological and environmental evidence relating to this later period. The barrow forms part of the wider South Dorset Ridgeway barrow group, which represents one of the largest and most concentrated barrow distributions in England.


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


The monument includes a bowl barrow situated on the south eastern part of Sheep Down, overlooking Lyme Bay to the south west and the South Winterborne valley to the north east. It forms part of a wider round barrow group situated on the South Dorset Ridgeway. The other barrows within the group are the subject of separate schedulings. The barrow has a mound composed of sand, gravel and turf, with maximum dimensions of 15m in diameter and about 1.5m in height. The mound shows signs of disturbance which may relate to an antiquarian excavation. The mound is overlain by a bank, aligned SSE-NNW, with maximum dimensions of 0.8m in width and about 0.5m in height, which marks the parish boundary between Winterbourne Steepleton (to the east) and Littlebredy (to the west). Surrounding the mound is a ditch from which material was quarried during the construction of the monument. The ditch has become infilled over the years and is also partly overlain by the parish boundary bank, but it will survive as a buried feature 1.5m wide. All fence posts relating to modern field boundaries are excluded from the scheduling, 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.


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

Legacy System number: 33203

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 471

End of official listing