Ancient Monuments

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Disc barrow 500m south east of Winterbourne Poor Lot

A Scheduled Monument in Winterbourne Abbas, Dorset

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Latitude: 50.7112 / 50°42'40"N

Longitude: -2.5767 / 2°34'36"W

OS Eastings: 359374.388958

OS Northings: 90331.583333

OS Grid: SY593903

Mapcode National: GBR PV.8L5B

Mapcode Global: FRA 57H6.7ZL

Entry Name: Disc barrow 500m south east of Winterbourne Poor Lot

Scheduled Date: 22 March 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013848

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22987

County: Dorset

Civil Parish: Winterbourne Abbas

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: The Winterbournes

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes a disc barrow situated on a south facing slope of the
South Dorset Downs, with views over the South Winterbourne valley.
The barrow has a central mound 10m in diameter and c.0.3m high composed of
earth, flint and chalk. This is surrounded by a berm or gently sloping
platform 1.5m wide, and an outer ditch 3m wide from which material was
quarried during the construction of the monument. The barrow has been reduced
by ploughing since it was first recorded in the 1960s and the ditch has become
infilled, although it is known to survive as a buried feature which is
sometimes visible from the air as a cropmark.

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

Disc barrows, the most fragile type of round barrow, are funerary monuments of
the Early Bronze Age, with most examples dating to the period 1400-1200 BC.
They occur either in isolation or in barrow cemeteries (closely-spaced groups
of round barrows). Disc barrows were constructed as a circular or oval area of
level ground defined by a bank and internal ditch and containing one or more
centrally or eccentrically located small, low mounds covering burials, usually
in pits. The burials, normally cremations, are frequently accompanied by
pottery vessels, tools and personal ornaments. It has been suggested that disc
barrows were normally used for the burial of women, although this remains
unproven. However, it is likely that the individuals buried were of high
status. Disc barrows are rare nationally, with about 250 known examples, most
of which are in Wessex. Their richness in terms of grave goods provides
important evidence for chronological and cultural links amongst prehistoric
communities over a wide area of southern England as well as providing an
insight into their beliefs and social organisation. As a particularly rare and
fragile form of round barrow, all identified disc barrows would normally be
considered to be of national importance.

Despite reduction by ploughing, the disc barrow 500m south east of
Winterbourne Poor Lot is known to survive and will contain archaeological and
environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it
was constructed.
Although one of a concentration of barrows to survive in this area, the
monument's position is unusual in that disc barrows are generally situated
within and close to barrow cemeteries; this example is in an area between
cemeteries in which no other barrows have been recorded.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 463

Source: Historic England

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