Ancient Monuments

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Bowl barrow cemetery and four other bowl barrows on Canford Heath

A Scheduled Monument in ,

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Latitude: 50.7585 / 50°45'30"N

Longitude: -1.9688 / 1°58'7"W

OS Eastings: 402298.9943

OS Northings: 95436.9312

OS Grid: SZ022954

Mapcode National: GBR XT8.5G

Mapcode Global: FRA 67R2.QTM

Entry Name: Bowl barrow cemetery and four other bowl barrows on Canford Heath

Scheduled Date: 20 January 1932

Last Amended: 14 July 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018486

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31057

Built-Up Area: Poole

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Canford Heath

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument, which falls into five separate areas, includes a bowl barrow
cemetery and four other bowl barrows, part of a dispersed group of barrows on
Canford Heath. The barrows all lie near the southern edge of a plateau with
extensive views to the south.
The cemetery contains six closely spaced bowl barrows, four of them in an
east-west line with the other two to the south of this line. The remaining
four barrows lie to the north east and east, between 150m and 700m away.
The barrows have mounds ranging in diameter between 7.5m and 24m, and up to
1.7m high. All the mounds are surrounded by quarry ditches from which material
to construct the mounds was derived. These survive as slight depressions
around some of the mounds or as buried features, no longer visible on the
surface, approximately 2m wide. Many of the barrows have depressions in the
tops of the mounds suggesting that they have been partially excavated in the
past, although there is no record of this or of any finds made. One of barrows
in the cemetery has had a trench dug into it perhaps indicating more recent
digging and one of the eastern barrows was partially excavated in the late
1970s by G Dowdell of the Poole Museum Archaeological Unit. No finds from this
excavation have been reported. Surface gravel digging has disturbed some of
the ground around the barrows.

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.

The bowl barrows within and around the cemetery on Canford Heath, despite
being disturbed by excavations and surface gravel diggings, are well preserved
examples of their class and will contain archaeological remains providing
information relating to Bronze Age society, environment and burial practices.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, 'Procs Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Soc.' in Dorset Barrows, (1959), 125-126

Source: Historic England

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