Ancient Monuments

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Scrubbity Barrows: a round barrow cemetery in Scrubbity Coppice

A Scheduled Monument in Sixpenny Handley and Pentridge, Dorset

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Latitude: 50.9604 / 50°57'37"N

Longitude: -2.0411 / 2°2'28"W

OS Eastings: 397207.898704

OS Northings: 117888.955144

OS Grid: ST972178

Mapcode National: GBR 2ZM.LSV

Mapcode Global: FRA 66MK.SRF

Entry Name: Scrubbity Barrows: a round barrow cemetery in Scrubbity Coppice

Scheduled Date: 10 April 1957

Last Amended: 18 September 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020488

English Heritage Legacy ID: 35207

County: Dorset

Civil Parish: Sixpenny Handley and Pentridge

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Sixpenny Handley with Gussage St Andrew

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes a group of eight bowl barrows which form a round barrow
cemetery in Scrubbity Coppice, situated on the south western slope of a dry
valley, within the area of Cranborne Chase.
The barrows each have a mound composed of earth, chalk and flint, with varying
dimensions of between 5m to 20m in diameter and between 0.5m and 1.8m in
height. The mounds are each surrounded by a ditch from which material was
quarried during the construction of the monument. The ditches have generally
become infilled over the years but each will survive as a buried feature.
The barrows were partially excavated by General Pitt-Rivers in the 1880s,
when a series of cremation burials, pits and flint tools were identified.
All fence posts and gates which relate to the modern 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

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.

The Scrubbity Barrows round barrow cemetery in Scrubbity Coppice survives
comparatively well and is known from partial excavations by General Pitt-
Rivers 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), 72
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 72
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 72

Source: Historic England

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