Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Barrows on Wyke Down

A Scheduled Monument in Gussage St. Michael, Dorset

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »
Street or Overhead View
Contributor Photos »

If Google Street View is available, the image is from the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the monument. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.

Coordinates

Latitude: 50.9374 / 50°56'14"N

Longitude: -1.99 / 1°59'24"W

OS Eastings: 400796.277551

OS Northings: 115322.764796

OS Grid: SU007153

Mapcode National: GBR 302.1PQ

Mapcode Global: FRA 66QM.NJP

Entry Name: Barrows on Wyke Down

Scheduled Date: 30 June 1958

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1002789

English Heritage Legacy ID: DO 299

County: Dorset

Civil Parish: Gussage St. Michael

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Gussage All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury

Summary

Bell barrow and nine bowl barrows forming part of a round barrow cemetery 920m north east of Down Farm.

Source: Historic England

Details

This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 22 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 ten areas, includes a bell barrow and nine bowl barrows forming part of a round barrow cemetery situated on the upper slopes of Wyke Down. The bell barrow survives as a circular mound of up to 32m in diameter and 2m high with a buried outer ditch and no clearly discernible earthwork berm. The bowl barrows survive as circular mounds surrounded by buried quarry ditches from which the construction material was derived. The barrow mounds vary in diameter from 20m up to 37m and from 0.3m up to 3m high. Three are crossed by a parish boundary and one lies within the Dorset Cursus.

Further archaeological remains survive within the vicinity, some are scheduled separately but others are not included because they have not been formally assessed.

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. 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. Despite the reduction in the heights of the mounds through cultivation the bell barrow and nine bowl barrows forming part of a round barrow cemetery 920m north east of 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:-1313056, 1313086, 1313090, 1313056, 1313069, 1313044, 213526, 1314709, 213593, 213589 and 213752

Source: Historic England

Other nearby scheduled monuments

AncientMonuments.uk is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact AncientMonuments.uk for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself.

AncientMonuments.uk is a Good Stuff website.