Ancient Monuments

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Four bowl barrows 500m west of Well Bottom Wood, forming part of the Pitcombe Down round barrow cemetery

A Scheduled Monument in Winterbourne Abbas, Dorset

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Latitude: 50.7093 / 50°42'33"N

Longitude: -2.5858 / 2°35'8"W

OS Eastings: 358735.137971

OS Northings: 90125.559184

OS Grid: SY587901

Mapcode National: GBR PT.PXBW

Mapcode Global: FRA 57G6.JFW

Entry Name: Four bowl barrows 500m west of Well Bottom Wood, forming part of the Pitcombe Down round barrow cemetery

Scheduled Date: 31 October 1957

Last Amended: 18 September 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013252

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22968

County: Dorset

Civil Parish: Winterbourne Abbas

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Little Bredy St Michael and All Angels

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes four bowl barrows aligned south east to north west and
situated on a chalk ridge of the South Dorset Downs, overlooking the South
Winterbourne Valley to the north east and the round barrow cemetery at
Winterbourne Poor Lot to the north west. The barrows form part of the Pitcombe
Down round barrow cemetery which contains ten barrows in all. These four
barrows are located below the crest of the ridge and would have been visible
on the skyline when viewed from the valley bottom.
Each of the four barrows has a mound composed of earth, chalk and flint with
dimensions of between 10m and 15m in diameter and c.0.15m to 0.6m in height.
Each mound is surrounded by a ditch from which material was quarried during
the construction of the monument. The ditches are no longer visible at ground
level as they have become infilled over the years, but each will survive as a
buried feature c.1m 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.

Despite reduction in their height by cultivation, the four bowl barrows 500m
west of Well Bottom Wood survive comparatively well and will contain
archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the Pitcombe Down
cemetery and the landscape in which it was constructed.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
An Inventory of the Historical Monuments of Dorset: Volume 1 , (1952), 39
An Inventory of the Historical Monuments of Dorset: Volume 1 , (1952), 39
An Inventory of the Historical Monuments of Dorset: Volume 1 , (1952), 39

Source: Historic England

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