Ancient Monuments

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The Ulwell Barrow 400m north of Sheperds Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Studland, Dorset

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Latitude: 50.6315 / 50°37'53"N

Longitude: -1.9698 / 1°58'11"W

OS Eastings: 402229.012

OS Northings: 81314.220978

OS Grid: SZ022813

Mapcode National: GBR 453.6ST

Mapcode Global: FRA 67RD.QD8

Entry Name: The Ulwell Barrow 400m N of Sheperds Farm

Scheduled Date: 29 July 1960

Last Amended: 12 March 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014292

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22994

County: Dorset

Civil Parish: Studland

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Studland St Nicholas

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes a bowl barrow, known as the Ulwell Barrow, situated at
the western end of Ballard Down, a chalk ridge of the Isle of Purbeck,
overlooking Swanage Bay to the south east, Studland Bay to the north east, and
heathland to the west and north.
The barrow has a mound composed of earth, flint and chalk with a maximum
diameter of 19.5m and a maximum height of c.2m. This is surrounded by a ditch
from which material was quarried during the construction of the monument. On
the eastern side of the monument the ditch remains visible as an earthwork 4m
wide and c.0.3m deep; elsewhere the ditch has become infilled, but will
survive as a buried feature. There are traces of a hollow in the top of the
barrow mound and this is likely to relate to the part excavation of the site
by J H Austen in 1857. These excavations identified a primary inhumation
situated within a chalk cut grave with dimensions of 1.5m by 2.4m. The skull
was covered by flat stones and the burial was associated with a handled cup of
fine red ware and antler fragments. A secondary disarticulated inhumation
associated with urn fragments was identified near to the centre of the mound.
A secondary cremation was associated with additional urn fragments underneath
a flat stone within the barrow mound.
There is now an obelisk situated on the south eastern side of the mound. This
dates to 1892 and was erected to commemorate `the introduction of pure water
from the chalk formation into Swanage'. The obelisk was dismantled in 1941 and
re-erected by the army in 1952.
Excluded from the scheduling are all fence posts relating to the modern field
boundaries, along with the structure of the obelisk, although the underlying
ground is included in each case.

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

Despite limited disturbance by the construction of an obelisk, the Ulwell
Barrow at the western end of Ballard Down survives well and is known from
part excavation to contain archaeological and environmental evidence
relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed.
The barrow forms part of a dispersed group of round barrows situated along the
top of Ballard Down.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Austen, J, 'Purbeck Papers' in On the Tumuli of the Chalk Range, , Vol. Vol 115, (1856), 157-8
Mention hollow in top of mound,
Name of site,

Source: Historic England

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