Ancient Monuments

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Two bell barrows and a bowl barrow 400m south-west of Oak Tree Farm: part of the Coombe Beacon round barrow cemetery

A Scheduled Monument in Wool, Dorset

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Latitude: 50.6598 / 50°39'35"N

Longitude: -2.1972 / 2°11'50"W

OS Eastings: 386153.856564

OS Northings: 84476.757159

OS Grid: SY861844

Mapcode National: GBR 21R.H9P

Mapcode Global: FRA 678B.KS6

Entry Name: Two bell barrows and a bowl barrow 400m south-west of Oak Tree Farm: part of the Coombe Beacon round barrow cemetery

Scheduled Date: 20 November 1961

Last Amended: 29 March 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008019

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21917

County: Dorset

Civil Parish: Wool

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 two bell barrows and a bowl barrow, situated on lowland
heath close to the Dorset coast and forming part of the Coombe Beacon round
barrow cemetery.
The bell barrows, aligned north - south, are spaced c.20m apart with a small
bowl barrow abutting the ditch of the southernmost bell barrow on its
north-east side. The bell barrow mounds are 2.5m high and 17m and 14m in
diameter, each including a sloping berm 4m wide. Each mound is surrounded by a
ditch c.3m wide from which material was quarried during the construction of
the monument. The ditch of the northern bell barrow is 0.25m deep, that of the
southern barrow is 0.4m deep. Beyond each ditch are traces of an outer bank.
That of the northernmost barrow can be seen most clearly; it is 4m wide and
0.2m high. The mound of the small bowl barrow, lying to the north-east of and
abutting the ditch of the southernmost bell barrow, is 12m in diameter and
0.75m high. The mound is surrounded by a ditch which can no longer be seen at
ground level, but survives as a buried feature c.2m wide.

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.

The two bell barrows and the bowl barrow on Coombe Heath, forming part of the
Coombe Beacon barrow cemetery, have survived well and contain archaeological
remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape
in which it was constructed. This group is one of several to survive on this
piece of heathland between the River Frome and the Dorset coast.

Source: Historic England

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