Ancient Monuments

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Round barrow cemetery in Hyde Hill Plantation

A Scheduled Monument in Tarrant Launceston, Dorset

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Latitude: 50.8932 / 50°53'35"N

Longitude: -2.0711 / 2°4'15"W

OS Eastings: 395096.008872

OS Northings: 110416.955123

OS Grid: ST950104

Mapcode National: GBR 30B.Z23

Mapcode Global: FRA 66KR.0Z3

Entry Name: Round barrow cemetery in Hyde Hill Plantation

Scheduled Date: 28 March 1958

Last Amended: 24 July 2002

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020442

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33553

County: Dorset

Civil Parish: Tarrant Launceston

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Tarrant Monkton with Tarrant Launceston All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes a round barrow cemetery on Cranborne Chase. It lies
at the south east corner of Hyde Hill Plantation on Launceston Down, on
the crest of a chalk ridge between two streams, 1.2 km south east of Manor
Farm, Tarrant Hinton. It is one of several cemeteries in this area. The
cemetery originally contained 13 round barrows, of which 6 survive. The
remaining 7 barrows lie within arable areas to the east and west; these
have all been reduced in height by ploughing and are no longer visible on
the surface. As they cannot be verified on the ground these barrows are
not included in the scheduling.
The barrows contained within this scheduling have mounds varying in
diameter between 9m and 18m and in height between 0.6m and 1.2m.
Surrounding the mounds are quarry ditches from which material was derived
for their construction. These are sometimes visible as depressions around
the mounds but will survive as buried features up to 2m wide.
Two barrows excavated by Warne in 1840 may have been in this group; one
contained a primary cremation under a flint cairn, while charcoal and
ashes were found in the other. The `Launceston Sepulchralia' examined by
Warne in the same year probably also lay in this area and appears to have
been a cremation cemetery, with the cremations in groups of holes in the
chalk, each group being covered with a layer of closely packed flint
All fence posts are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground
beneath these features 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

Cranborne Chase is an area of chalkland well known for its high number,
density and diversity of archaeological remains. These include a rare
combination of Neolithic and Early Bronze Age sites, comprising one of the
largest concentrations of burial monuments in England, the largest known
cursus (a linear ritual monument) and a significant number and range of henge
monuments (Late Neolithic ceremonial centres). Other important remains include
a variety of enclosures, settlements, field systems and linear boundaries
which date throughout prehistory and into the Romano-British and medieval
periods. This high level of survival of archaeological remains is due largely
to the later history of the Chase. Cranborne Chase formed a Royal Hunting
Ground from at least Norman times, and much of the archaeological survival
within the area resulted from associated laws controlling land-use which
applied until 1830. The unique archaeological character of the Chase has
attracted much attention over the years, notably during the later 19th
century, by the pioneering work on the Chase of General Pitt-Rivers, Sir
Richard Colt Hoare and Edward Cunnington, often regarded as the fathers of
British archaeology. Archaeological investigations have continued throughout
the 20th century and to the present day.
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 - or ring ditches, visible only from the
air due to levelling of the mounds by cultivation in the historic and modern
periods. 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.
On Cranborne Chase, round barrow cemeteries are associated with earlier
features such as long barrows, the Dorset Cursus, and henge monuments. Where
excavation has taken place around the barrows, 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, of which that on Cranborne Chase is significant. They are
particularly representative of their period, whilst their diversity and their
longevity as a monument class provide important information on the variety of
beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. Often
occupying prominent locations, they are a major historic element in the modern
landscape and constitute a significant component of the archaeology of
Cranborne Chase. All examples with surviving remains are, therefore,
considered to be of national importance.

This cemetery in Hyde Hill Plantation is one of several cemeteries to
survive in this part of Cranborne Chase. Although not all the original
barrows survive, those included in the scheduling form the nucleus of the
cemetery and are well-preserved examples of their type. The cemetery will
contain archaeological deposits providing information about Late Neolithic
to Bronze Age beliefs and funerary practices, society and the contemporary

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Warne, C, Celtic Tumuli of Dorset, (1886), 57-8
Warne, C, Celtic Tumuli of Dorset, (1886), 57-58
Warne, C, Celtic Tumuli of Dorset, (1886)
Warne, C, Celtic Tumuli of Dorset, (1886)

Source: Historic England

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