Ancient Monuments

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A bell barrow and a bowl barrow at St Michael's Middle School 60m west of the school buildings

A Scheduled Monument in Colehill, Dorset

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Latitude: 50.8095 / 50°48'34"N

Longitude: -1.9683 / 1°58'5"W

OS Eastings: 402327.481267

OS Northings: 101101.659721

OS Grid: SU023011

Mapcode National: GBR 42Z.16F

Mapcode Global: FRA 66RY.QZ1

Entry Name: A bell barrow and a bowl barrow at St Michael's Middle School 60m west of the school buildings

Scheduled Date: 9 October 1981

Last Amended: 8 May 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015788

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27474

County: Dorset

Civil Parish: Colehill

Built-Up Area: Wimborne Minster

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Colehill St Michael and All Angels

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes a bell barrow and a bowl barrow, two of an original
group of three round barrows which lie 30m west of the buildings at St
Michael's Middle School. The bell barrow has a mound, 14m in diameter,
surrounded by a sloping berm, 3m wide, and is 2m high. Surrounding the mound
and berm is a ditch, 3m wide, which is visible as a depression up to 0.50m
deep. Immediately NNE of the bell barrow is the site of a bowl barrow
previously recorded as having a mound 9m in diameter surrounded by a slight
ditch c.2m wide. The barrow is no longer visible on the surface but the ditch
will survive as a buried feature.
A third barrow 20m east of the bell barrow was destroyed during the
construction of a new classroom and is not included in the scheduling.
All fence posts and path surfaces are excluded from the scheduling although
the ground beneath these features is included.

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.

The bell barrow at St Michael's Middle School is a well preserved example of
its class and, although the adjacent bowl barrow has been levelled by the
picnic and playing area, its ditch will survive as a buried feature. Both
barrows will contain archaeological remains providing information about Bronze
Age burial practices, economy and environment.

Source: Historic England

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