Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Bowl barrow on Sheep Down, 600m east of Home Farm Cottages

A Scheduled Monument in Littlebredy, Dorset

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Latitude: 50.6933 / 50°41'35"N

Longitude: -2.5664 / 2°33'59"W

OS Eastings: 360087.589778

OS Northings: 88331.518

OS Grid: SY600883

Mapcode National: GBR PV.9WFT

Mapcode Global: FRA 57J7.L12

Entry Name: Bowl barrow on Sheep Down, 600m east of Home Farm Cottages

Scheduled Date: 8 August 1960

Last Amended: 16 April 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016735

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33203

County: Dorset

Civil Parish: Littlebredy

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: The Winterbournes

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes a bowl barrow situated on the south eastern part of
Sheep Down, overlooking Lyme Bay to the south west and the South Winterborne
valley to the north east. It forms part of a wider round barrow group situated
on the South Dorset Ridgeway. The other barrows within the group are the
subject of separate schedulings.
The barrow has a mound composed of sand, gravel and turf, with maximum
dimensions of 15m in diameter and about 1.5m in height. The mound shows signs
of disturbance which may relate to an antiquarian excavation. The mound is
overlain by a bank, aligned SSE-NNW, with maximum dimensions of 0.8m in width
and about 0.5m in height, which marks the parish boundary between Winterbourne
Steepleton (to the east) and Littlebredy (to the west).
Surrounding the mound is a ditch from which material was quarried during the
construction of the monument. The ditch has become infilled over the years and
is also partly overlain by the parish boundary bank, but it will survive as a
buried feature 1.5m wide.
All fence posts relating to modern field boundaries 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 bowl barrow on Sheep Down, 600m east of Home Farm Cottage survives well
and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the
monument and the landscape in which it was constructed. The barrow also
supports a parish boundary bank, the construction of which will have preserved
a buried ground surface and associated archaeological and environmental
evidence relating to this later period. The barrow forms part of the wider
South Dorset Ridgeway barrow group, which represents one of the largest and
most concentrated barrow distributions in England.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 471

Source: Historic England

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