Ancient Monuments

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Bowl barrow on Beaminster Down 770m north east of Higher Meerhay Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Beaminster, Dorset

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Latitude: 50.8282 / 50°49'41"N

Longitude: -2.7164 / 2°42'58"W

OS Eastings: 349642.69079

OS Northings: 103433.775677

OS Grid: ST496034

Mapcode National: GBR MK.X3MF

Mapcode Global: FRA 566X.1LL

Entry Name: Bowl barrow on Beaminster Down 770m north east of Higher Meerhay Farm

Scheduled Date: 26 January 1960

Last Amended: 18 November 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015050

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27450

County: Dorset

Civil Parish: Beaminster

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Beaminster St Mary of the Annunciation

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes a bowl barrow, one of a group of four on Beaminster
Down, 770m north east of Higher Meerhay Farm.
The barrow has a mound c.21m in diameter and is a maximum of 2m high. A
bomb crater, immediately south of the centre is c.8m in diameter and 2m deep.
Surrounding the mound is a quarry ditch from which material was excavated
during its construction. This has become infilled over the years but survives
as a buried feature c.3m wide.
The barrow was partly excavated in 1874 by Lt Col S S Cox. In one of this
group, near the middle, he found an urn inverted over cremated bones and wood
ashes at a depth of 5ft (1.5m). Another urn with a cremation was found at a
depth of 2ft (0.6m).

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 on Beaminster Down 770m north east of Higher Meerhay Farm,
despite having been partly excavated in 1874 and subsequently bombed, will
include archaeological remains containing information about Bronze Age burial
practices, economy and environment.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Hine, R, History of Beaminster, (1914), 3

Source: Historic England

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