Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Four bowl barrows 725m ESE of Wears Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Abbotsbury, Dorset

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Latitude: 50.6748 / 50°40'29"N

Longitude: -2.6101 / 2°36'36"W

OS Eastings: 356983.4346

OS Northings: 86302.0604

OS Grid: SY569863

Mapcode National: GBR PT.6346

Mapcode Global: FRA 57F9.6YS

Entry Name: Four bowl barrows 725m ESE of Wears Farm

Scheduled Date: 12 December 1958

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1002825

English Heritage Legacy ID: DO 394

County: Dorset

Civil Parish: Abbotsbury

Built-Up Area: Abbotsbury

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Abbotsbury St Nicholas

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument, which falls into four areas of protection, includes four bowl barrows situated along the summit of the prominent coastal ridge of Wears Hill. The barrows survive as circular mounds. They are surrounded by buried quarry ditches, from which the construction material was derived. The barrow mounds vary in size from 12m up to 16m in diameter and from 1.1m up to 2m high. One has a flattened top.

Sources: HER:-
PastScape Monument No:-450362 and 450359

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

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. 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. Despite some reduction in the heights of the mounds through past cultivation, the four bowl barrows 725m ESE of Wears Farm survive 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

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