Three bowl barrows on Northport Heath, 940m and 985m north east of Alpha Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019147

Date first listed: 16-Dec-1999


Ordnance survey map of Three bowl barrows on Northport Heath, 940m and 985m north east of Alpha Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Dorset

District: Purbeck (District Authority)

Parish: Wareham St. Martin

National Grid Reference: SY 91156 90273, SY 91192 90273


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 bowl barrows on Northport Heath, 940m and 985m north east of Alpha Farm survive well and will contain archaeological and environemental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed. The twin bowl barrow represents an unusual form of this class of monument and the flooded quarry ditch will provide suitable conditions for the preservation of waterlogged deposits.


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


The monument, which falls into two separate areas, includes three bowl barrows aligned north east-south west on a gentle south facing slope overlooking a tributary of the River Piddle. To the west, two mounds form a twin bowl barrow. Each mound is composed of earth, turf and sand with maximum dimensions of 8m in diameter and about 0.75m in height. The mounds are surrounded by a ditch from which material was quarried during their construction. The ditch is visible as an earthwork 1m wide and extends around the periphery of the two mounds, but it does not divide them. To the east lies another bowl barrow with a mound 8m in diameter and 0.75m high. The associated quarry ditch has become infilled, but will survive as a buried feature about 1m wide. The fence posts relating to the modern field boundaries are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them 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: 33206

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 455

End of official listing