Ancient Monuments

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Group of round barrows on King Down

A Scheduled Monument in Pamphill, Dorset

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.8306 / 50°49'50"N

Longitude: -2.0292 / 2°1'45"W

OS Eastings: 398038.980807

OS Northings: 103447.431549

OS Grid: ST980034

Mapcode National: GBR 315.XF9

Mapcode Global: FRA 66MW.Z54

Entry Name: Group of round barrows on King Down

Scheduled Date: 13 December 1929

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1002714

English Heritage Legacy ID: DO 104

County: Dorset

Civil Parish: Pamphill

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Kingston Lacy St Stephen

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury

Summary

Four bowl barrows 1150m south east of King Down Farm.

Source: Historic England

Details

This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 16 December 2015. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

This monument, which falls into four areas, includes four bowl barrows situated on the upper east facing slopes of a ridge known as King Down. The barrows survive as circular mounds surrounded by buried quarry ditches from which the construction material was derived. The mounds vary in size from 13.7m up to 20m in diameter and from 0.3m up to 1.8m high. The buried ditches for the two lower barrows are visible as cropmarks on aerial photographs taken in 2002 with a similar but small further ring ditch lying between them.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

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.

Despite reduction in the heights of the mounds through past cultivation, the four bowl barrows 1150m south east of King Down Farm survive comparatively well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to their construction, relative chronologies, territorial significance, social organisation, ritual and funerary practices and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
PastScape Monument No:-209471

Source: Historic England

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