Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Bell barrow on Stoborough Heath 380m NNE of Hill View

A Scheduled Monument in Arne, Dorset

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Latitude: 50.6629 / 50°39'46"N

Longitude: -2.0993 / 2°5'57"W

OS Eastings: 393076.36926

OS Northings: 84811.38519

OS Grid: SY930848

Mapcode National: GBR 336.B1Z

Mapcode Global: FRA 67HB.1ZH

Entry Name: Bell barrow on Stoborough Heath 380m NNE of Hill View

Scheduled Date: 17 August 1961

Last Amended: 7 August 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014287

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28305

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


The monument includes a bell barrow situated on Stoborough Heath in the Isle
of Purbeck, 380m NNE of Hill View. It is set on a low sandstone rise
overlooking Poole Harbour to the north east and the South Dorset Ridge to the
south west.

The barrow has a mound composed of earth, sand and turf with maximum
dimensions of 20m in diameter and c.2m in height. An irregular hollow on the
northern side of the mound represents an extraction pit. The mound is
surrounded by a berm or gently sloping platform 5m wide and an outer ditch
from which material was quarried during the construction of the monument. This
has become infilled over the years but will survive as a buried feature 2m

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

Bell barrows, the most visually impressive form of round barrow, are funerary
monuments dating to the Early and Middle Bronze Age, with most examples
belonging to the period 1500-1100 BC. They occur either in isolation or in
round barrow cemeteries and were constructed as single or multiple mounds
covering burials, often in pits, and surrounded by an enclosure ditch. The
burials are frequently accompanied by weapons, personal ornaments and pottery
and appear to be those of aristocratic individuals, usually men. Bell barrows
(particularly multiple barrows) are rare nationally, with less than 250 known
examples, most of which are in Wessex. Their richness in terms of grave goods
provides evidence for chronological and cultural links amongst early
prehistoric communities over most of southern and eastern England as well as
providing an insight into their beliefs and social organisation. As a
particularly rare form of round barrow, all identified bell barrows would
normally be considered to be of national importance.

Despite some limited disturbance, the bell barrow on Stoborough Heath 380m
NNE of Hill View survives well and will contain archaeological and
environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it
was constructed. The bell barrow forms part of a dispersed group of four round
barrows on Stoborough Heath, each of which are the subject of separate

Source: Historic England

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