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Round barrow cemetery on Bloxworth Down

A Scheduled Monument in Bere Regis, Dorset

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.7657 / 50°45'56"N

Longitude: -2.1761 / 2°10'33"W

OS Eastings: 387678.002757

OS Northings: 96249.385386

OS Grid: SY876962

Mapcode National: GBR 20F.W3B

Mapcode Global: FRA 67B2.21M

Entry Name: Round barrow cemetery on Bloxworth Down

Scheduled Date: 26 February 1962

Last Amended: 29 January 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017624

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29071

County: Dorset

Civil Parish: Bere Regis

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Bloxworth St Andrew

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury

Details

The monument includes a nucleated round barrow cemetery spread over 1.25ha,
containing 11 individual barrows, situated on the upper part of Bloxworth
Down, a north-facing slope overlooking the Winterborne Valley. To the north
and north west of the cemetery, on lower ground, is a dispersed group of four
bowl barrows. This dispersed group is the subject of separate schedulings.
The two southern barrows in the cemetery are aligned east-west and occupy the
highest position, situated just below the crest of the ridge. The barrows
each have a mound composed of earth and chalk with maximum dimensions of
between 16m-17m in diameter and between about 0.5m to 0.75m in height. The
mounds are each surrounded by a ditch from which material was quarried during
the construction of the monument. The ditches have become infilled over the
years, but each will survive as a buried feature.
To the north, on gently sloping ground, are a cluster of five bowl barrows.
These each have a mound with maximum dimensions of between 10m-18m in diameter
and between about 0.2m to 0.3m in height. The mounds are each surrounded by a
quarry ditch, all of which have become infilled, but each will survive as
a buried feature.
Further to the north are a group of four barrows aligned east-west along a
natural terrace. The eastern example is a disc barrow which has a central
mound 25m in diameter. This is surrounded by a berm or gently sloping
platform, a quarry ditch and outer bank which, together, produce an overall
diameter of 47m. The barrow has been reduced by ploughing, but the central
mound remains visible as a chalky spread 25m in diameter and approximately
0.3m high. The ditch has become infilled, but will survive as a buried
feature; the outer bank is still visible as a chalky spread about 1m wide.
This barrow was partly excavated by W Shipp in 1854, when a primary cremation
burial was recovered with a collared urn, along with a pair of bone tweezers
and a variety of amber and faience beads.
The three bowl barrows to the west, each have a mound of between 12m to 15m in
diameter and between about 0.25m to 0.3m in height. L V Grinsell recovered
some Late Bronze Age pottery from the mound of the central barrow within this
group in the 1950s.
A further barrow was recorded by the Ordnance Survey in 1811 to the north of
the cemetery. This has not since been located, but may be an example excavated
by W Shipp in 1854 and since destroyed.
Excluded from the scheduling are all fence posts relating to the modern field
boundary, although the ground beneath is included.

MAP EXTRACT
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.

Despite some reduction by ploughing, the round barrow cemetery on Bloxworth
Down survives comparatively well and is known from partial excavation to
contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the monument and
the landscape in which it was constructed.
Disc barrows, of which one example is preserved here, are a rare class of
monument nationally giving this cemetery an unusual combination of round
barrow types.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 440
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 440
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 440
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 440
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 440
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 440
Grinsell, L V, 'Procs Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Soc.' in Dorset Barrows, (1959), 94
Grinsell, L V, 'Procs Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Soc.' in Dorset Barrows, (1959), 94
Grinsell, L V, 'Procs Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Soc.' in Dorset Barrows, (1959), 94

Source: Historic England

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