Ancient Monuments

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Round barrow cemetery on Deverel Down 380m west of Longthorns

A Scheduled Monument in Milborne St. Andrew, Dorset

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Latitude: 50.7927 / 50°47'33"N

Longitude: -2.2534 / 2°15'12"W

OS Eastings: 382236.935198

OS Northings: 99264.179686

OS Grid: SY822992

Mapcode National: GBR 204.73F

Mapcode Global: FRA 665Z.V8V

Entry Name: Round barrow cemetery on Deverel Down 380m west of Longthorns

Scheduled Date: 31 May 1961

Last Amended: 7 July 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017275

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33531

County: Dorset

Civil Parish: Milborne St. Andrew

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Milborne St Andrew

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument, which falls into five separate areas of protection, includes a
dispersed round barrow cemetery comprising six bowl barrows and a possible
bell barrow, situated on Deverel Down, on and just below the crest of the
hill, on a south facing slope.
The bowl barrows have mounds ranging in diameter between 12m and 20m and
between 0.2m and 1.5m in height. The possible bell barrow has been spread and
reduced in height by ploughing, but prior to 1970 it was recorded as having an
area enclosed by a ditch 17m in diameter, with a mound 9m in diameter and
0.6m high. All the mounds are surrounded by quarry ditches from which material
used in their construction was derived. These are sometimes visible in part as
surface depressions but otherwise will survive as buried features up to 3m
wide. Many of the barrows show signs of past excavation, although no finds are
specifically recorded from the barrows in this monument. A pottery cup found
with an urn, now in the British Museum, is recorded as having been found in an
unlocated barrow on Deverel Down.
The cemetery originally included seven bowl barrows, and the possible bell
barrow. Two other possible barrows have also been identified, but there is
some doubt about their classification. They have since been reduced in height
by ploughing and their locations cannot be verified on the ground. One of the
additional bowl barrows in the cemetery, known as the Deverel Barrow, was
almost totally excavated in 1824 by W A Miles. The excavation revealed that
the mound covered a semi-circle of sarsen stones most of which sealed covered
cists cut into the chalk. These cists contained 17 cremations in pottery urns;
five other cists which contained cremation remains only were also recorded. In
addition, on the barrow floor there were four more cremations in urns and four
unaccompanied cremations. The site is now marked by a circular walled
enclosure. These three additional barrows are not included in the scheduling.
The round barrow cemetery lies within a Celtic field system which is now much
reduced by ploughing and the relationship with the cemetery cannot now be
determined. The fragmentary remains of the field system are not included in
the scheduling.
All fence and gate posts 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

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.

Bowl barrows are the most numerous form of round barrow and date from the Late
Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age, with most examples belonging to the
period 2400-1500 BC. There are over 10,000 surviving bowl barrows recorded
nationally, occurring across most of lowland Britain.
Bell barrows are the most visually impressive form of round barrow and date to
the Early to Middle Bronze Age, with most examples belonging to the period
1500-1100 BC. Bell barrows are rare nationally with less than 250 known
examples, most of which are in Wessex.
The round barrow cemetery on Deverel Down 380m west of Longthorns is a
comparatively well preserved example of its class. The barrow mounds will
contain archaeological remains providing information about Late Neolithic to
Bronze Age funerary practices and society as well as the contemporary

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, 'Procs Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Soc.' in Dorset Barrows, (1959), 121

Source: Historic England

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