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Long barrow, three bell barrows, fancy barrow and a linear earthwork 800m north of Maiden Castle

A Scheduled Monument in Winterborne St. Martin, Dorset

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.7019 / 50°42'6"N

Longitude: -2.4728 / 2°28'21"W

OS Eastings: 366708.558583

OS Northings: 89247.31927

OS Grid: SY667892

Mapcode National: GBR PX.MB9Q

Mapcode Global: FRA 57Q7.0GT

Entry Name: Long barrow, three bell barrows, fancy barrow and a linear earthwork 800m north of Maiden Castle

Scheduled Date: 26 November 1963

Last Amended: 11 July 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015783

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28392

County: Dorset

Civil Parish: Winterborne St. Martin

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Dorchester and West Stafford

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury

Details

The monument, which falls into two areas, includes a long barrow, three bell
barrows, a fancy barrow and a linear earthwork, all situated on an east facing
slope overlooking the Frome Valley. The long barrow is situated 500m north of
a second, and some 1000m to the north west of the causewayed enclosure at
Maiden Castle. The round barrows form part of a wider cemetery of five barrows
located around the long barrow.
The long barrow, which is aligned north-south, is situated on a south facing
slope in view of Maiden Castle. It was surveyed by the Royal Commission on the
Historical Monuments of England (RCHME) in 1955 as a mound with maximum
dimensions of 97m in length, 14m in width and c.0.35m in height. The mound has
since been levelled by ploughing. A pair of parallel sided quarry ditches are
known from aerial photographic evidence to flank the mound. Each quarry ditch
has dimensions of 97m in length and 3.5m in width; although now infilled,
these will survive as buried features.
The long barrow may have later formed a focus for the construction of the
round barrow cemetery. At the south western end of the long barrow, a now
levelled bell barrow has been identified from aerial photographs. The barrow
has a central mound 3.5m in diameter, surrounded by a berm or gently sloping
platform 4.5m wide and an outer ditch 3.5m wide. Although reduced by
ploughing, the barrow will survive as buried deposits.
To the south east is the largest barrow of the group. This is a bell barrow
which now has the appearance of a mound 55m in diameter and c.3.5m in height.
It is known from the RCHME survey to include a central mound 49m in diameter,
surrounded by a berm 7m wide, and an outer quarry ditch 8m wide. The berm has
since become incorporated into the mound and the quarry ditch has become
infilled, but will survive as a buried feature. The barrow was partly
excavated in 1862, when an inhumation was identified within a cist; the burial
is secondary and thought to date to the Romano-British period.
To the north east, a third bell barrow now has the appearance of a mound 35m
in diameter and c.1.1m high. When surveyed by the RCHME in 1955, the barrow
had a central mound 22m in diameter and c.1.8m in height, surrounded by a berm
4m wide and an outer quarry ditch. The berm has since become incorporated into
the mound, and the quarry ditch will survive as a buried feature.
The fancy barrow, situated to the south west, includes a pennanular bank
c.0.45m high, defining an area 13m across. A gap 5m wide on the eastern side
may represent an entrance. The interior occupies a higher level than the
surrounding area. The outer quarry ditch has become infilled, but will survive
as a buried feature.
A linear earthwork situated to the east of the barrow group, includes a bank
aligned broadly north-south. The bank was recorded as an earthwork 290m long
and 5m-6m wide by the RCHME survey in 1955, broken by four gaps 10m-30m in
width. The bank is now visible as an earthwork 8m-10m wide and c.0.45m-5m
high. The bank is associated with a ditch to the west. This was visible in
1955 as an earthwork 5m wide. It has since become infilled, but will survive
as a buried feature. The date of the linear earthwork is uncertain, but may
belong to the later prehistoric or Romano-British periods.
Excluded from the scheduling are all fence posts relating to the modern field
boundaries, although the ground beneath is included.

MAP EXTRACT
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

Round barrow cemeteries date to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They comprise
closely-spaced groups of up to 30 round barrows - rubble or earthen mounds
covering single or multiple burials. Most cemeteries developed over a
considerable period of time, often many centuries, and in some cases acted as
a focus for burials as late as the early medieval period. They exhibit
considerable diversity of burial rite, plan and form, frequently including
several different types of round barrow, occasionally associated with earlier
long barrows. Where large scale investigation has been undertaken around them,
contemporary or later "flat" burials between the barrow mounds have often been
revealed. Round barrow cemeteries occur across most of lowland Britain, with a
marked concentration in Wessex. In some cases, they are clustered around other
important contemporary monuments such as henges. Often occupying prominent
locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape, whilst
their diversity and their longevity as a monument type provide important
information on the variety of beliefs and social organisation amongst early
prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period
and a substantial proportion of surviving or partly-surviving examples are
considered worthy of protection.

Despite some reduction by ploughing, the long barrow, three bell barrows,
fancy barrow and linear earthwork survive comparatively well. Part
excavation has demonstrated the presence of archaeological and environmental
evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was
constructed. The long barrow, fancy barrow and bell barrows are all rare
classes of monument nationally, while the cemetery is one of three recorded in
the immediate vicinity of Maiden Castle. The monument provides a valuable
insight into the development of the prehistoric landscape in this area: the
Neolithic long barrow acted as a focus for the later Bronze Age cemetery,
while the linear earthwork appears to have been aligned on the barrow group as
a whole.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 465
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 519
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 432
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 519
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 465
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 519
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 465

Source: Historic England

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