Ancient Monuments

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Group of four bowl barrows 250m WNW of Peaked Close House: part of a dispersed round barrow cemetery on Corfe Common

A Scheduled Monument in Corfe Castle, Dorset

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Latitude: 50.6272 / 50°37'38"N

Longitude: -2.0502 / 2°3'0"W

OS Eastings: 396547.414438

OS Northings: 80836.867464

OS Grid: SY965808

Mapcode National: GBR 33N.QG9

Mapcode Global: FRA 67LD.WNC

Entry Name: Group of four bowl barrows 250m WNW of Peaked Close House: part of a dispersed round barrow cemetery on Corfe Common

Scheduled Date: 4 October 1932

Last Amended: 7 March 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011489

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21962

County: Dorset

Civil Parish: Corfe Castle

Built-Up Area: Corfe Castle

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Corfe Castle St Edward the Martyr

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes a compact group of four bowl barrows forming part of a
wider dispersed round barrow cemetery. The group is situated on an east-west
ridge in a valley with views to the north over the town of Corfe Castle and to
the south to the Purbeck Hills.
The four barrows vary in size between 7m and 23m in diameter and 0.4m and 2m
Surrounding each mound is a ditch from which material was quarried
during its construction. One of these survives as a slight depression 2m wide
and 0.5m deep. The remainder can no longer be seen at ground level, having
become infilled over the years, but survive as buried features between c.1m
and c.4m wide.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

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 four bowl barrows on Corfe Common survive comparatively well and will
contain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the
cemetery 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


Books and journals
Royal Commission on Historical Monuments, , County of Dorset , (1970), 443

Source: Historic England

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