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Three bowl barrows on The Knoll 450m north west of Treetops

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 Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Three bowl barrows on The Knoll 450m north west of Treetops

List entry Number: 1018412


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

County: Dorset

District: West Dorset

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Puncknowle

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 19-Mar-1999

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 31053

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

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 three barrows on The Knoll 450m north west of Treetops are well preserved examples of their class and two are known from partial excavation to contain archaeological remains providing information about Bronze Age burial practices, economy and environment. The construction of the look-out and signal station is an interesting and unusual feature, although its construction has caused some damage to the barrow on which it was built.


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


The monument includes three bowl barrows, in three separate areas of protection, on The Knoll, a prominent hill with extensive views out to sea, 450m north west of Treetops. The barrows range from 16m to 20m in diameter and from 0.7m to 1.5m in height. Only around the northern barrow is there any visible sign of a quarry ditch, from which material to construct the mound was derived. Partial excavation in 1959, by Mr E Greenfield, of the northern and western barrows confirmed that the northern barrow is surrounded by a quarry ditch 6m wide and about 0.7m deep, while very slight depressions observed around the western barrow suggests that the mound was constructed of material scraped up from the surrounding surface. Both barrows contained primary burials in Bronze Age urns. In the western barrow this was located in the north west quadrant of the barrow and was placed in a stone lined oval pit dug into an area of burning, interpreted as the remains of a pyre, and sealed by a slab capstone. The northern barrow had been disturbed by digging in the medieval period (13th or 14th centuriess) but fragments of cremated bone and urn suggested that the burial was placed on the old land surface. Both urns were then covered over with cairns of loosley packed stone. The cairn in the western barrow was capped by slabs of Quarr stones from the Isle of Wight. Mounds of soil sealing the cairns completed both barrows. The remains of two possible secondary Bronze Age cremation burials were found at the southern edge of the northern mound. The top of the western mound was disturbed by the insertion of a sand- bagged trench in World War II. The southern barrow had been flattened on top to accommodate a small stone building, which is Listed Grade II, thought to be a look out and signal station built in about 1800, with a small modern extension. In the 1890s Mr Frederick Cheney and his father found a Bronze Age urn containing a human jaw fragment on the southern side of the mound where it had been exposed by rabbits burrowing under the foundations of this building. It was said to be protected by a stone slab cist with a capstone. Comparisons between this barrow and the other two barrows suggest that it may not have had a quarry ditch surounding the mound. Analysis of the pottery suggests that the southern barrow may have been in use in the 15th century BC while the other two were constructed a century or so later. Evidence of Romano-British occupation was identified around the western barrow but the extent and nature of this is not known and it is not included in the scheduling. The Knoll is shown as `Puncknoll Beacon' on Isaac Taylor's 1765 map of Dorset but there are no visible remains of a beacon. Excluded from the scheduling are the 19th century building on top of the southern barrow, all fence posts, and the tanks on the northern side of the southern barrow, 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.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Greenfield, E, 'Proceedings of the Dorset Natural History and Archaeology Soc' in The Excavation For Three Round Barrows at Punknowle, Dorset 1959, , Vol. 106, (1984), 63-76
Greenfield, E, 'Proceedings of the Dorset Natural History and Archaeology Soc' in The Excavation For Three Round Barrows at Punknowle, Dorset 1959, , Vol. 106, (1984), 63-76
Greenfield, E, 'Proceedings of the Dorset Natural History and Archaeology Soc' in The Excavation For Three Round Barrows at Punknowle, Dorset 1959, , Vol. 106, (1984), 63-76

National Grid Reference: SY 53303 87833, SY 53469 87911, SY 53500 87774


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This copy shows the entry on 25-Sep-2018 at 05:52:01.

End of official listing