Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Bowl barrow on Whitcombe Hill, 600m west of Stafford Farm

A Scheduled Monument in West Stafford, Dorset

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Latitude: 50.698 / 50°41'52"N

Longitude: -2.3988 / 2°23'55"W

OS Eastings: 371932.276122

OS Northings: 88780.881878

OS Grid: SY719887

Mapcode National: GBR 0ZS.0CV

Mapcode Global: FRA 57V7.K8V

Entry Name: Bowl barrow on Whitcombe Hill, 600m west of Stafford Farm

Scheduled Date: 9 June 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017281

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33538

County: Dorset

Civil Parish: West Stafford

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Dorchester and West Stafford

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes a bowl barrow, one of a pair situated on Whitcombe Hill.
The barrow has a mound 29m in diameter and up to 1m high. Surrounding the
mound is a quarry ditch from which material was derived for its construction.
This has largely silted up over the years, although traces are visible to the
south east of the mound. Elsewhere, the ditch will survive as a buried feature
about 3m in diameter.

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 600m west of Stafford Farm, one of two on Whitcombe Hill, is a
comparatively well preserved example of its class and will include
archaeological deposits containing information about Bronze Age burial
practices, society and the contemporary environment.

Source: Historic England

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