Ancient Monuments

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The King's Barrow 230m east of Bartlett's Firs

A Scheduled Monument in Arne, Dorset

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Latitude: 50.6711 / 50°40'16"N

Longitude: -2.114 / 2°6'50"W

OS Eastings: 392038.922177

OS Northings: 85724.365206

OS Grid: SY920857

Mapcode National: GBR 330.SF7

Mapcode Global: FRA 67G9.G78

Entry Name: The King's Barrow 230m east of Bartlett's Firs

Scheduled Date: 9 March 1961

Last Amended: 7 February 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014295

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22997

County: Dorset

Civil Parish: Arne

Built-Up Area: Creech Bottom

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 bowl barrow situated on a low ridge occupying the
northern edge of Stoborough Heath within the Isle of Purbeck, overlooking the
Frome Valley to the north.
The site, which is known as the King's Barrow, has a mound composed of earth,
sand and turf with a maximum diameter of 20m and a maximum height of c.1.5m.
This is surrounded by a 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 wide.
The barrow was partly excavated during 1767 when a primary inhumation without
a skull was found wrapped in stitched animal skins within a hollowed out
wooden coffin which was 3m long, 1.2m wide and 0.9m deep and orientated north
west by south east. The burial was associated with a probable shale cup; this
has since been lost, although illustrations suggest that it was decorated with
incised lines.

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 King's Barrow 230m east of Bartlett's Firs 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 is
known to have contained a rare example of a tree trunk coffin, as well as an
unusual funerary vessel.

Source: Historic England


Mention barrow name,
Mention partial excavations,
Mention primary inhumation,
Mention shale cup,

Source: Historic England

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