Two bowl barrows 350m and 410m south of Afflington Barn


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019392

Date first listed: 19-May-1952

Date of most recent amendment: 07-Jul-2000


Ordnance survey map of Two bowl barrows 350m and 410m south of Afflington Barn
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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: Corfe Castle

National Grid Reference: SY 96866 78799, SY 96871 78750


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 two bowl barrows 350m and 410m south of Afflington Barn survive comparatively well and partial excavation of the northern example has demonstrated the presence of archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed.


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


The monument, which falls into two separate areas of protection, includes two bowl barrows aligned north-south, situated on a spur overlooking Coombe Bottom to the south. The northern example, which is known as `The Afflington Barrow', has a mound composed of limestone rubble with maximum dimensions of 22m in diameter and about 1.8m in height. The southern barrow mound is 25m in diameter and about 0.5m high. The mounds are each surrounded by a ditch from which material was quarried during their construction. These have each become infilled, but will survive as buried features about 2m wide. The Afflington barrow was partially excavated by J H Austen in 1855. A possible primary cremation was identified, along with a crouched inhumation burial and nine extended inhumations which were arranged in parallel rows. Five of the graves were stone lined, two contained double burials and one contained a bronze finger ring. The barrow also contained some Romano-British pottery and bronze belt or strap fittings. The finds are now held in the Dorset County Museum.

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: 33204

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 443

End of official listing