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Round barrow cemetery on Bloxworth Down

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: Round barrow cemetery on Bloxworth Down

List entry Number: 1017624

Location

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

County: Dorset

District: Purbeck

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Bloxworth

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 26-Feb-1962

Date of most recent amendment: 29-Jan-1998

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 29071

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 round barrow cemetery on Bloxworth Down survives comparatively well and is known from partial excavation to contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed. Disc barrows, of which one example is preserved here, are a rare class of monument nationally giving this cemetery an unusual combination of round barrow types.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a nucleated round barrow cemetery spread over 1.25ha, containing 11 individual barrows, situated on the upper part of Bloxworth Down, a north-facing slope overlooking the Winterborne Valley. To the north and north west of the cemetery, on lower ground, is a dispersed group of four bowl barrows. This dispersed group is the subject of separate schedulings. The two southern barrows in the cemetery are aligned east-west and occupy the highest position, situated just below the crest of the ridge. The barrows each have a mound composed of earth and chalk with maximum dimensions of between 16m-17m in diameter and between about 0.5m to 0.75m in height. The mounds are each surrounded by a ditch from which material was quarried during the construction of the monument. The ditches have become infilled over the years, but each will survive as a buried feature. To the north, on gently sloping ground, are a cluster of five bowl barrows. These each have a mound with maximum dimensions of between 10m-18m in diameter and between about 0.2m to 0.3m in height. The mounds are each surrounded by a quarry ditch, all of which have become infilled, but each will survive as a buried feature. Further to the north are a group of four barrows aligned east-west along a natural terrace. The eastern example is a disc barrow which has a central mound 25m in diameter. This is surrounded by a berm or gently sloping platform, a quarry ditch and outer bank which, together, produce an overall diameter of 47m. The barrow has been reduced by ploughing, but the central mound remains visible as a chalky spread 25m in diameter and approximately 0.3m high. The ditch has become infilled, but will survive as a buried feature; the outer bank is still visible as a chalky spread about 1m wide. This barrow was partly excavated by W Shipp in 1854, when a primary cremation burial was recovered with a collared urn, along with a pair of bone tweezers and a variety of amber and faience beads. The three bowl barrows to the west, each have a mound of between 12m to 15m in diameter and between about 0.25m to 0.3m in height. L V Grinsell recovered some Late Bronze Age pottery from the mound of the central barrow within this group in the 1950s. A further barrow was recorded by the Ordnance Survey in 1811 to the north of the cemetery. This has not since been located, but may be an example excavated by W Shipp in 1854 and since destroyed. Excluded from the scheduling are all fence posts relating to the modern field boundary, 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), 440
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 440
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 440
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 440
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 440
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 440
Grinsell, L V, 'Procs Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Soc.' in Dorset Barrows, (1959), 94
Grinsell, L V, 'Procs Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Soc.' in Dorset Barrows, (1959), 94
Grinsell, L V, 'Procs Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Soc.' in Dorset Barrows, (1959), 94

National Grid Reference: SY 87666 96240

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2017. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1017624 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 22-Nov-2017 at 05:48:23.

End of official listing