Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Bowl barrow 800m NNE of Gore Farm on Melbury Down

A Scheduled Monument in Compton Abbas, Dorset

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Latitude: 50.9689 / 50°58'8"N

Longitude: -2.1537 / 2°9'13"W

OS Eastings: 389299.572336

OS Northings: 118842.28845

OS Grid: ST892188

Mapcode National: GBR 1Y4.29S

Mapcode Global: FRA 66CK.4RW

Entry Name: Bowl barrow 800m NNE of Gore Farm on Melbury Down

Scheduled Date: 20 November 1961

Last Amended: 22 April 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013743

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27347

County: Dorset

Civil Parish: Compton Abbas

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Melbury Abbas St Thomas

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes a ditched bowl barrow 800m NNE of Gore Farm on Melbury
Down. The barrow lies in a prominent position below the crest of the hill and
overlooking the valley to the north. The barrow has a mound 15m in diameter
and 1.3m high. The mound is surrounded by a ditch, 2m wide and 0.3m deep,
which is visible on all but its south side. Beyond this is a short length of
an outer bank, c.2m wide and 0.2m high, visible on the downhill north west
side of the barrow ditch. There is a depression in the centre of the mound
which may represent an unrecorded antiquarian excavation. Excluded from the
scheduling are all fence posts, although the ground beneath these is included.

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

The bowl barrow 800m NNE of Gore Farm on Melbury Down is a comparatively well
preserved example of its class located in a prominent position. The barrow
will contain archaeological remains, providing information about Bronze Age
burial practices, economy and environment.

Source: Historic England

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