Bowl barrow on Berwick Drove, 620m north east of Ashcombe Farm
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1020463
Date first listed: 15-Jul-1955
Date of most recent amendment: 11-Feb-2002
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)
Parish: Berwick St. John
National Grid Reference: ST 93894 20459
Reasons for Designation
Cranborne Chase is an area of chalkland well known for its high number,
density and diversity of archaeological remains. These include a rare
combination of Neolithic and Early Bronze Age sites, comprising one of the
largest concentrations of burial monuments in England, the largest known
cursus (a linear ritual monument) and a significant number and range of henge
monuments (Late Neolithic ceremonial centres). Other important remains include
a variety of enclosures, settlements, field systems and linear boundaries
which date throughout prehistory and into the Romano-British and medieval
periods. This high level of survival of archaeological remains is due largely
to the later history of the Chase. Cranborne Chase formed a Royal Hunting
Ground from at least Norman times, and much of the archaeological survival
within the area resulted from associated laws controlling land-use which
applied until 1830. The unique archaeological character of the Chase has
attracted much attention over the years, notably during the later 19th
century, by the pioneering work on the Chase of General Pitt-Rivers, Sir
Richard Colt Hoare and Edward Cunnington, often regarded as the fathers of
British archaeology. Archaeological investigations have continued throughout
the 20th century and to the present day.
Bowl barrows, the most numerous form of round barrow, are funerary monuments
dating from the Late Neolithic 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. Over 10,000 bowl barrows are known to survive
nationally, of which a cluster of at least 395 examples has been identified on
Cranborne Chase. Some of these have been levelled by ploughing but remain
visible from the air as ring ditches. Buried remains will nevertheless survive
at these sites, both within the ditch fills and associated with the central
burial pit. Bowl barrows are particularly representative of their period,
whilst their considerable variation of form and longevity as a monument type
will provide important information on the diversity of beliefs and social
organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. Often occupying prominent
locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape and
constitute a significant component of the archaeology of Cranborne Chase. All
surviving examples within this area are, therefore, considered to be of
The bowl barrow on Berwick Drove, 620m north east of Ashcombe Farm is one of a dispersed scatter of similar monuments in this area of Cranborne Chase. It is a well-preserved example of its class and will contain archaeological remains providing information relating to later prehistoric funerary practices, society and the contemporary environment.
The monument includes a bowl barrow on Berwick Drove, 620m north east of
Ashcombe Farm, situated on a south west facing slope just below the summit of
The barrow has a flat-topped mound, which is terraced into the slope. It is
15m in diameter, up to 1m high on the downhill western side and about 0.3m
high on the uphill side. A slight depression on the top of the mound may
indicate past excavation, although there is no record of this. Surrounding the
mound is a ditch from which material for its construction was quarried. This
is visible as a depression 3m wide and 0.4m deep, except on the western side
where it will survive as a buried feature.
All fence posts are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground
beneath these features 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: 33560
Legacy System: RSM
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