Ancient Monuments

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Romano-British settlement and two bowl barrows on Blandford Race Down 450m south east of Telegraph Clump

A Scheduled Monument in Tarrant Launceston, Dorset

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Latitude: 50.8826 / 50°52'57"N

Longitude: -2.1048 / 2°6'17"W

OS Eastings: 392720.520762

OS Northings: 109236.700812

OS Grid: ST927092

Mapcode National: GBR 30H.NNW

Mapcode Global: FRA 66GR.ZS1

Entry Name: Romano-British settlement and two bowl barrows on Blandford Race Down 450m south east of Telegraph Clump

Scheduled Date: 11 September 1963

Last Amended: 15 July 2003

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020954

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33579

County: Dorset

Civil Parish: Tarrant Launceston

Built-Up Area: Blandford Camp

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 settlement remains, thought to be of Iron Age and
Romano-British date, and two Bronze Age bowl barrows on Blandford Race
Down, 450m south east of Telegraph Clump. The site, surveyed by Heywood
Sumner in 1912, comprises a nucleated occupation area of about 3.25ha.
This is characterised by low earthworks, now much disturbed, including a
number of sunken platforms which probably represent the sites of former
buildings. The occupation area lies within a larger area, about 400m
across, defined by shallow banks, ditches and the scarp edge. Small sherds
of Iron Age and Romano-British pottery were found during field
investigation by the Ordnance Survey in 1954. Tracks, surviving as
earthwork hollow ways up to 20m wide, enter the outer edge of the
settlement from the south east, the east and the north. The whole area has
been disturbed by military activity during the 20th century, evidence of
which survives in the form of a zigzag trench, used for training purposes
probably early in the 20th century.
Two earlier Bronze Age barrows, 250m apart, lie within the settlement
remains. The north western barrow has a mound 15m in diameter and 0.8m
high, while the south eastern example has a mound 20m in diameter and 1.2m
high. Surrounding each mound is a quarry ditch from which material was
derived for its construction. This is visible around the northern barrow
mound as a slight surface depression but it is no longer visible around
the southern barrow. Both will survive as buried features about 2m wide.
All fence and telegraph posts, concrete posts, buildings and path surfaces
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.

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.
Later Iron Age and Romano-British occupation occurred widely across
Cranborne Chase and included a range of settlement types. The surviving
remains comprise farmsteads, hamlets, villages and hillforts, which
together demonstrate an important sequence of settlement. The
non-defensive enclosed farm or homestead represents the smallest and most
simple of these types. There are over 50 recorded examples within the area
which are thought to date to this later Iron Age and Romano-British
period. Most early examples are characterised by a curvilinear enclosure
with round buildings, although these are sometimes superseded by
rectilinear or triangular shaped enclosures with rectilinear buildings. On
Cranborne Chase, many examples were occupied over an extended period and
some grew in size and complexity.

The Romano-British settlement on Blandford Race Down survives as a series
of earthworks and would appear to be of unusual type with no enclosing
earthwork. The site will preserve archaeological and environmental remains
which will contribute to an understanding of the economic and social
activities within the area during the period of occupation. Barrows are
especially representative of the Bronze Age period and are a
characteristic feature of the landscape in Cranborne Chase. The barrows at
this site are well preserved and will contain archaeological deposits
providing information relating to Bronze Age burial practices and society,
and the contemporary environment.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Sumner, H, The Ancient Earthworks of Cranborne Chase, (1913), 74-75

Source: Historic England

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