Ancient Monuments

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'Three Barrows': Group of three round barrows on the southern edge of Middlebere Heath, 240m NNE of Halfway Inn

A Scheduled Monument in Arne, Dorset

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.6594 / 50°39'33"N

Longitude: -2.0875 / 2°5'14"W

OS Eastings: 393910.810673

OS Northings: 84411.952817

OS Grid: SY939844

Mapcode National: GBR 337.F24

Mapcode Global: FRA 67JB.DKT

Entry Name: 'Three Barrows': Group of three round barrows on the southern edge of Middlebere Heath, 240m NNE of Halfway Inn

Scheduled Date: 6 July 1959

Last Amended: 9 March 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011481

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21970

County: Dorset

Civil Parish: Arne

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Wareham Lady St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury

Details

The monument includes a group of three bowl barrows aligned east-west and
situated on a local rise with views to the northeast over Middlebere Heath.
The eastern barrow mound measures 35m in diameter and is 2m high.
Adjoining this barrow on its west side is another bowl barrow 2m high and
18.3m across. The western bowl barrow, a further 10m to the west, is 2m high
and 23m in diameter. Surrounding each mound is a ditch from which material was
quarried during its construction. The ditches of the most eastern barrow and
of the barrow adjoining it can no longer be seen at ground level, having
become infilled over the years, but survive as buried features c.5m and c.3m
wide respectively. The ditch of the western barrow has become partially
infilled over the years, but can still be seen as a slight depression 2m wide
and 0.25m deep.
The telegraph pole which lies on the east edge of the western barrow is
excluded from the scheduling, but the ground beneath is included.

MAP EXTRACT
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

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. There are over 10,000 surviving bowl
barrows recorded nationally (many more have already been destroyed), occurring
across most of lowland Britain. 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
and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of
protection.

The three bowl barrows on the edge of Middlebere Heath survive well and will
contain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the
barrow group and the landscape in which it was constructed. These barrows are
amongst a number which survive in the area of the Purbeck Hills.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Royal Commission on Historical Monuments, , County of Dorset , (1970), 435

Source: Historic England

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