Round barrow cemetery and two associated enclosures, 550m west of Wimborne Lodge, associated with the Knowlton Circles


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1020581

Date first listed: 05-Jul-2002


Ordnance survey map of Round barrow cemetery and two associated enclosures, 550m west of Wimborne Lodge, associated with the Knowlton Circles
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Dorset

District: East Dorset (District Authority)

Parish: Wimborne St. Giles

County: Dorset

District: East Dorset (District Authority)

Parish: Woodlands

National Grid Reference: SU 03003 10639


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

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. Round barrow cemeteries date to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They comprise closely spaced groups of up to 30 round barrows - rubble or earthen mounds covering single or multiple burials - or ring ditches, visible only from the air due to levelling of the mounds by cultivation in the historic and modern periods. Most cemeteries developed over a considerable period of time, often many centuries, and in some cases acted as a focus for burials as late as the early medieval period. They exhibit considerable diversity of burial rite, plan and form, frequently including several different types of round barrow. On Cranborne Chase, round barrow cemeteries are associated with earlier features such as long barrows, the Dorset Cursus, and henge monuments. Where excavation has taken place around the barrows, contemporary or later flat burials between the barrow mounds have often been revealed. Round barrow cemeteries occur across most of lowland Britain, with a marked concentration in Wessex, of which that on Cranborne Chase is significant. They are particularly representative of their period, whilst their diversity and their longevity as a monument class provide important information on the variety 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 examples with surviving remains are, therefore, considered to be of national importance.

Despite reduction by ploughing, the round barrow cemetery 550m west of Wimborne Lodge is known from aerial photography to survive as a series of buried features which will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed. The two ditched enclosures identified with the barrows represent a rare association. The barrow cemetery is also associated with a significant group of henge monuments situated to the south west.


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


The monument includes a group of 20 round barrows, which together form a round barrow cemetery, and two associated enclosures, all situated on gently sloping ground in the Allen valley. The barrow group lies to the north east of a wider complex of round barrows and henge monuments known as the Knowlton Circles, which are the subject of a separate scheduling. The round barrow cemetery includes 20 round barrows which have been reduced by ploughing, but which survive as ring ditches, these being the ploughed remains of the barrows' encircling ditches as they appear on aerial photographs. These will survive as buried features as will other cut features within the barrows, including the central burial pits. The ditches indicate overall diameters for the barrows of between 10m and 25m. The barrows are associated with two ditched enclosures which have also been reduced by ploughing. One lies on the north eastern side of the barrow group, it is rhomboidal in form, with an entrance to the north west and is about 24m wide. A second enclosure is situated within the barrow group, this example is sub-rectangular in plan with dimensions of about 24m by 18m with a possible entrance in the eastern corner. Both enclosures appear to be integrated into the round barrow cemetery and might be broadly contemporary with it. All fence posts relating to 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.


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

Legacy System number: 35210

Legacy System: RSM



End of official listing