Oval barrow and three bowl barrows 250m and 330m south of Whitcombe Barn

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019414

Date first listed: 30-Oct-1959

Date of most recent amendment: 24-Nov-2000

Map

Ordnance survey map of Oval barrow and three bowl barrows 250m and 330m south of Whitcombe Barn
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Location

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Dorset

District: West Dorset (District Authority)

Parish: Broadmayne

County: Dorset

District: West Dorset (District Authority)

Parish: Whitcombe

National Grid Reference: SY 70677 86275, SY 70768 86188

Summary

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.

Oval barrows are funerary and ceremonial monuments of the Early to Middle Neolithic periods. They were constructed as earthen or rubble mounds of roughly elliptical plan, usually delimited by quarry ditches. They tend to either contain communal burials or burials of one or two adults interred in a central grave pit. Oval barrows are rare nationally, with less than 50 recorded examples. Despite some reduction by ploughing, the oval barrow and three bowl barrows 250m and 330m south of Whitcombe Barn survive comparatively well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the use of this monument between the Neolithic and Bronze Age periods and the landscape in which it was constructed.

History

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

Details

The monument, which falls into two separate areas of protection, includes an oval barrow and three bowl barrows aligned north west by south east and situated on a low ridge overlooking a dry valley to the south. The barrows form part of a dispersed group of eight similar monuments, the rest of which are the subject of separate schedulings. The four barrows were recorded by the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England in 1970. The oval barrow, which is situated to the south east, has a mound composed of earth and chalk, with maximum dimensions of 40m from north west to south east, 20m from north east to south west and about 0.8m in height. The barrow mound is surrounded by a ditch from which material was quarried during the construction of the monument. The ditch has become infilled over the years, but is known from aerial photographs to survive as a buried feature about 2m wide. The three bowl barrows each have mounds with maximum dimensions of between 16m to 35m in diameter and about 0.45m to 0.8m in height. Surrounding each mound is a quarry ditch, which has become infilled over the years. However, these ditches will survive as buried features about 2m wide. All fence posts of the modern field boundary 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.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: 33188

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 459
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 459

End of official listing