Bowl barrow cemetery and four other bowl barrows on Canford Heath


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018486

Date first listed: 20-Jan-1932

Date of most recent amendment: 14-Jul-1999


Ordnance survey map of Bowl barrow cemetery and four other bowl barrows on Canford Heath
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Poole (Unitary Authority)

National Grid Reference: SZ 02300 95437, SZ 02434 95582, SZ 02647 95344, SZ 02758 95348, SZ 03029 95300


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.

The bowl barrows within and around the cemetery on Canford Heath, despite being disturbed by excavations and surface gravel diggings, are well preserved examples of their class and will contain archaeological remains providing information relating to Bronze Age society, environment and burial practices.


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


The monument, which falls into five separate areas, includes a bowl barrow cemetery and four other bowl barrows, part of a dispersed group of barrows on Canford Heath. The barrows all lie near the southern edge of a plateau with extensive views to the south. The cemetery contains six closely spaced bowl barrows, four of them in an east-west line with the other two to the south of this line. The remaining four barrows lie to the north east and east, between 150m and 700m away. The barrows have mounds ranging in diameter between 7.5m and 24m, and up to 1.7m high. All the mounds are surrounded by quarry ditches from which material to construct the mounds was derived. These survive as slight depressions around some of the mounds or as buried features, no longer visible on the surface, approximately 2m wide. Many of the barrows have depressions in the tops of the mounds suggesting that they have been partially excavated in the past, although there is no record of this or of any finds made. One of barrows in the cemetery has had a trench dug into it perhaps indicating more recent digging and one of the eastern barrows was partially excavated in the late 1970s by G Dowdell of the Poole Museum Archaeological Unit. No finds from this excavation have been reported. Surface gravel digging has disturbed some of the ground around the barrows.

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: 31057

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, 'Procs Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Soc.' in Dorset Barrows, (1959), 125-126

End of official listing