Three bowl barrows on Milborne Down 520m and 585m north east of obelisk on Weatherby Castle hillfort


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


Ordnance survey map of Three bowl barrows on Milborne Down 520m and 585m north east of obelisk on Weatherby Castle hillfort
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

North Dorset (District Authority)
Milborne St. Andrew
National Grid Reference:
SY 81046 96758, SY 81111 96606

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.

Despite some reduction by ploughing, the three bowl barrows on Milborne Down 520m and 585m north east of Weatherby Castle hillfort survive comparatively well, and contain archaeological remains providing information about Bronze Age funerary practices, economy and environment.


The monument, which falls into two separate areas of protection, includes three bowl barrows situated on a gentle northfacing slope of Milborne Down 520m and 585m north east of the obelisk on Weatherby Castle hillfort, and are part of a dispersed group of barrows on this ridge. The barrows, which are aligned broadly north west-south east, are spread over a distance of about 200m. Each has a mound composed of earth, flint and chalk, each of which have maximum dimensions of between 18m and 26m in diameter, and up to 0.6m in height. Surrounding each mound is a quarry ditch from which material was derived during its construction. The ditches are no longer visible on the ground surface, but will survive as buried features up to 3m wide. Aerial photographs taken in 1980 indicate that the central barrow also had an external bank, now no longer visible on the surface; a trench running north-south across the mound suggests that this barrow has been excavated in the past. This may be one of several unlocated barrows on Milborne Down excavated by Charles Warne in the mid-19th century, one of which `on the highest and most southerly part of the down' revealed a primary cremation with ashes and a secondary intrusive inhumation 0.6m from the top.

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:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, 'Procs Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Soc.' in Dorset Barrows, (1959), 120


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.

End of official listing

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