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West Godlingston Heath

Barrow / Cairn Cemetery

<b>West Godlingston Heath</b>Posted by formicaantImage © Mike Rowland 10/04/11
Nearest Town:Swanage (6km SE)
OS Ref (GB):   SZ006830 / Sheet: 195
Latitude:50° 38' 45.85" N
Longitude:   1° 59' 29.45" W

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Fieldnotes

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A barrow cemetery comprising five bowl and one bell barrow on the west of Godlingston Heath. This is a curious cemetery, the like of which I've not seen before locally, it is in the shape of a crescent. The arc is roughly a 1/4 of a circle and looks like a small arena. The barrows overlook the north part of the heath and Poole harbour from the top of an inland cliff. The five bowl barrows make up the arc shape with the bell barrow just behind, almost touching them.
The barrows are covered in low heather at the moment and get larger and higher as they go from the first barrow - north west to the sixth barrow south east. The only barrow that is visible from the south is the bell barrow, from which can be see two of the barrows on Nine Barrow Down, to the south, I'm pretty sure the long barrow is one of them.
These barrows are not on the main part of the heath with the marked footpaths but the whole area is open access land and there was a path that could be followed. These are not marked in any way on the relevant O.S. maps and I only found out they existed while looking at something else on MAGIC, where they are marked and described.
On the way back, about 20 yards from the barrows I was lucky enough to find a piece of Bronze Age pottery laying next to the track. It looks like the local black burnished ware and is part of a rim.
All in all they are an unusual group in the context of Dorset barrows and are well worth a visit - look them up first on MAGIC and they are quite easy to find, if not this is a large heath with lots of lumps and bumps on it which aren't ancient.
formicaant Posted by formicaant
4th April 2010ce
Edited 6th April 2010ce