Ancient Monuments

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Two bowl barrows on Conygar Hill

A Scheduled Monument in Dorchester, Dorset

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Latitude: 50.6994 / 50°41'57"N

Longitude: -2.4304 / 2°25'49"W

OS Eastings: 369697.2889

OS Northings: 88947.5051

OS Grid: SY696889

Mapcode National: GBR PY.SHRV

Mapcode Global: FRA 57S7.BZ5

Entry Name: Two bowl barrows on Conygar Hill

Scheduled Date: 1 October 1962

Last Amended: 14 March 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017270

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33179

County: Dorset

Civil Parish: Dorchester

Built-Up Area: Dorchester

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Dorchester and West Stafford

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument, which falls into two separate areas of protection, includes two
bowl barrows aligned east-west on Conygar Hill, with views across the Frome
Valley to the north.
The barrows, which were recorded by the Royal Commission on the Historical
Monuments of England in 1970, each have a mound composed of earth and chalk,
with maximum dimensions of 29m and 30m in diameter respectively and about 3m
in height. Each mound is surrounded by a ditch from which material was
quarried during the construction of the monument. These have become infilled
over the years, but each will survive as a buried feature 3m wide.
The barrows were partially excavated by E Cunnington in the late 19th century.
The eastern barrow was found to contain a primary contracted inhumation burial
associated with a food vessel and six flint arrowheads. Three secondary
cremations associated with a bucket urn lay above a large block of Portland
limestone. The western barrow contained an inhumation and cremation burials.
The finds are now held at the Dorset County Museum.
All fence posts are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath
them 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

Despite some ploughing around the periphery of the barrow mounds, the two bowl
barrows on Conygar Hill survive particularly well and are known from partial
excavation to contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to
the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 444

Source: Historic England

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