Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Three bowl barrows north east of Thorncombe Beacon, 160m, 190m and 400m south west of Down House

A Scheduled Monument in Symondsbury, Dorset

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Latitude: 50.7224 / 50°43'20"N

Longitude: -2.7979 / 2°47'52"W

OS Eastings: 343775.2178

OS Northings: 91720.4781

OS Grid: SY437917

Mapcode National: GBR PN.G09X

Mapcode Global: FRA 5705.KSQ

Entry Name: Three bowl barrows north east of Thorncombe Beacon, 160m, 190m and 400m south west of Down House

Scheduled Date: 19 December 1958

Last Amended: 25 September 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016101

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29574

County: Dorset

Civil Parish: Symondsbury

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Symondsbury St John the Baptist

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument, which lies in three areas, includes three bowl barrows in
prominent locations north east of Thorncombe Beacon. The barrows have mounds
which vary in size from 30m to 35m in diameter and between 1m and 3.7m in
height. Each barrow is surrounded by a quarry ditch from which material was
excavated during its construction. These have become infilled over the years
but survive as buried features approximately 3m wide.
All fence posts are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath
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

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 three bowl barrows north east of Thorncombe Beacon are well preserved
examples of their class and will contain archaeological remains providing
information about Bronze Age burial practices, economy and environment.

Source: Historic England

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