Ancient Monuments

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Three bowl barrows on Northport Heath, 940m and 985m north east of Alpha Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Wareham St. Martin,

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Latitude: 50.712 / 50°42'43"N

Longitude: -2.1266 / 2°7'35"W

OS Eastings: 391156.1997

OS Northings: 90273.1026

OS Grid: SY911902

Mapcode National: GBR 218.94V

Mapcode Global: FRA 67F6.9BH

Entry Name: Three bowl barrows on Northport Heath, 940m and 985m north east of Alpha Farm

Scheduled Date: 16 December 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019147

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33206

Civil Parish: Wareham St. Martin

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Wareham Lady St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument, which falls into two separate areas, includes three bowl barrows
aligned north east-south west on a gentle south facing slope overlooking a
tributary of the River Piddle.
To the west, two mounds form a twin bowl barrow. Each mound is composed of
earth, turf and sand with maximum dimensions of 8m in diameter and about 0.75m
in height. The mounds are surrounded by a ditch from which material was
quarried during their construction. The ditch is visible as an earthwork 1m
wide and extends around the periphery of the two mounds, but it does not
divide them.
To the east lies another bowl barrow with a mound 8m in diameter and 0.75m
high. The associated quarry ditch has become infilled, but will survive as a
buried feature about 1m wide.
The fence posts relating to the modern field boundaries 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

The three bowl barrows on Northport Heath, 940m and 985m north east of Alpha
Farm survive well and will contain archaeological and environemental evidence
relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed. The
twin bowl barrow represents an unusual form of this class of monument and the
flooded quarry ditch will provide suitable conditions for the preservation of
waterlogged deposits.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 455

Source: Historic England

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