Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Bowl barrow 600m south of Whitcombe Farm

A Scheduled Monument in West Knighton, Dorset

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Latitude: 50.687 / 50°41'13"N

Longitude: -2.4025 / 2°24'9"W

OS Eastings: 371660.465763

OS Northings: 87558.631087

OS Grid: SY716875

Mapcode National: GBR PZ.DC9N

Mapcode Global: FRA 57V8.9TN

Entry Name: Bowl barrow 600m south of Whitcombe Farm

Scheduled Date: 30 October 1959

Last Amended: 24 November 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019412

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33186

County: Dorset

Civil Parish: West Knighton

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 situated on a low ridge with panoramic
views. This barrow forms part of a dispersed group of eight similar monuments,
all of which are the subject of separate schedulings.
The barrow, which was recorded by the Royal Commission on the Historical
Monuments of England in 1970, has a mound composed of clay, with maximum
dimensions of 26m in diameter and about 1.1m in height. A crushed Bronze Age
urn containing burnt bones and ashes was recovered from the upper mound
following ploughing during the 1950s. Surrounding the mound is a ditch from
which material was quarried during the construction of the monument. The ditch
has become infilled over the years, but will survive as a buried feature about
2m wide.
An external bank surrounds the barrow. This was constructed in the 1980s
however, and is not included in the scheduling.

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

Despite some reduction by ploughing, the bowl barrow 600m south of Whitcombe
Farm survives comparatively well and is known from past excavation to contain
archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the
landscape in which it was constructed.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 459

Source: Historic England

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