Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Round barrow cemetery on West Holme Heath, 850m north-west of Hurst Mill

A Scheduled Monument in East Stoke, Dorset

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Latitude: 50.6609 / 50°39'39"N

Longitude: -2.1669 / 2°10'0"W

OS Eastings: 388296.732925

OS Northings: 84590.217911

OS Grid: SY882845

Mapcode National: GBR 21S.JZ4

Mapcode Global: FRA 67BB.CMB

Entry Name: Round barrow cemetery on West Holme Heath, 850m north-west of Hurst Mill

Scheduled Date: 14 September 1962

Last Amended: 1 September 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007691

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21923

County: Dorset

Civil Parish: East Stoke

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Wool, East Burton and Combe Keynes

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes a linear round barrow cemetery aligned east-west lying
on lowland heath close to the Dorset coast.
The cemetery includes five of an original group of six upstanding bowl
barrows, varying in height between 0.25m and 1m and in diameter between 3m and
18.4m. The sixth barrow of the original group, lying to the west of the
cemetery, has been levelled but buried features will survive and it is
included in the scheduling. Each barrow mound is surrounded by a ditch from
which material was quarried during its construction. These can no longer be
seen at ground level, having become infilled over the years, but survive as
buried features varying in width from 1m to 3m.
The gravel and hardcore tracks which run between a number of the barrows are
excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features is
included. The concrete hardstanding area where it falls within the constraint
line is excluded from the scheduling as is the ground beneath because of the
depth to which construction extends.

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.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

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. 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, occasionally associated with earlier
long barrows. Where large scale investigation has been undertaken around them,
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. In some cases, they are clustered around other
important contemporary monuments such as henges. Often occupying prominent
locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape, whilst
their diversity and their longevity as a monument type provide important
information on the variety of beliefs and social organisation amongst early
prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period
and a substantial proportion of surviving or partly-surviving examples are
considered worthy of protection.

Despite some disturbance over the years, the five upstanding bowl barrows on
West Holme Heath survive comparatively well and all six barrows will contain
archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and
the landscape in which it was constructed. These barrows are amongst a number
which survive on this piece of heathland between the River Frome and the
Dorset coast.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Royal Commission on Historical Monuments, , County of Dorset , (1970)

Source: Historic England

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