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Launceston Down South Group

Barrow / Cairn Cemetery

Also known as:
  • Monument No. 210103

Nearest Town:Blandford Forum (9km SW)
OS Ref (GB):   ST956106 / Sheet: 195
Latitude:50° 53' 39.38" N
Longitude:   2° 3' 45.25" W

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Details of Neolithic round barrow on Pastscape

A Neolithic round barrow on Launceston Down, part of a cemetery excavated in 1938 (see parent record for details). Listed by RCHME as Tarrant Launceston 38 and by Grinsell as Tarrant Launceston 4. The barrow is no longer extant as an earthwork. On excavation, the site proved to be a low natural knoll which had been thinly covered with earth and stones. This low mound was circa 1.3 feet high above the natural chalk. The "apparent diameter" was 40 feet. Near the centre, below the mound, was a crouched inhumation laid on its left side upon a layer of flint nodules. The nodules had been placed directly on the old ground surface. A leaf shaped flint arrowhead was found among the ribs of the skeleton. At the feet of the inhumation were two intersecting postholes. The excavators assumed that one was a replacement for the other. This site was originally recorded as part of ST 91 SE 59, and that record should be consulted for additional information and sources. Visited by MPPA in March 2000, but since all are heavily denuded, not recommended for scheduling.
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2nd April 2016ce
Edited 3rd April 2016ce

Details of Barrow cemetery on Pastscape

A barrow cemetery on Launceston Down excavated in 1938 by S and CM Piggott under "rescue" conditions following government acquisition of the land. None of the barrows now survive as earthworks. Of the 10 examined by the Piggotts, one apears to be Neolithic, one Saxon and the remainder Bronze Age in date. All were formerly listed and described as part of this monument record, but have now been recorded separately. See individual child monument records for specific details about each.

(ST 95501069:ST 95621064:ST 95881056) Tumuli (NR) (sites of) (NAT) (twice). (1)
Round barrows between 200 ft. and 250 ft. above O.D., extend in an irregular line from W.to E. on the northwood-facing slope of a dry combe which falls E. to the Crichel brook. All were excavated in 1938 by S. and C.M Piggott; they are no longer visible on the ground and former dimensions, etc. are recorded.
(A) Bowl (95381067), covering a primary cremation, associated with a calcite double-spaced bead, in a circular grave cut into
the chalk; diam. 25 ft., ht. l ft. (Piggott, 18).
(B) Bowl (95501069), disturbed in the past, yielded a cremation, probably primary, under an inverted cinerary urn in a shallow pit in the chalk; diam. 35 ft., ht. 1 1/2 ft. (Piggott, 12).
(C) Bowl (95621064), with a primary crouched inhumation near the centre associated with a leaf-shaped arrowhead; diam.
40 ft., ht. l1 ft. (Piggott, 13).
(D) Bowl (95731061), covering a primary cremation in a pit cut into the chalk; diam. 12 ft., ht. 1 ft. (Piggott, 15).
(E) Bowl (95741058), containing a primary crouched inhumation with a trephined skull, associated with a bell beaker, in a
central grave cut into the chalk, and a secondary cremation near it; diam. 17 ft., ht. less than 1 ft. (Piggott, 14).
(F) Bowl (95771060), apparently disturbed by earlier digging, probably had contained a primary inhumation associated with a
small long-necked beaker; diam. 25 ft., ht. 1 ft. (Piggott, 16),
(G) Bowl (95711050), containing a primary crouched inhumation, associated with a bronze awl and a long-necked beaker, in a
large grave cut into the chalk. An urn of 'degenerate food-vessel' type was found in a secondary position in this grave. Diam. 18 ft., ht. 1 ft. (Piggott, 17).
(H) Bowl (95891056), yielding a primary cremation and four secondary cremations, one of them associated with an inverted
sub-biconical urn. An intrusive crouched inhumation near the edge of the mound was probably Romano-British or pagan Saxon
Diam. 40 ft., ht. 2 ft., with a horseshoe-shaped ditch with a causeway on the E.
(J) Bowl (95901060), with three extended inhumations, perhaps intrusive and probably of pagan Saxon origin, in a shallow
scraping in the chalk; diam. 20 ft.. ht. less than 1 ft.
(K) Bowl (95911054), covering a large pit, beside which was a primary cremation in a barrel urn with incised chevron
decoration of Cornish type; diam. 45 ft., ht. 1 ft., with a shallow ditch. (Piggott, 8). (2-3)
Piggott's location map (op cit) shows barrow (E) lying slightly N of barrows (D) and (F). It is probably therefore situated at ST 95741062. (4)
(C) Launceston. ST 956 107 (sic) Listed by Kinnes as a Neolithic round barrow with 1 adult inhumation, with a leaf arrowhead between the ribs, lying on a layer of flint nodules with 2 postholes at the feet. (5)
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The Launceston Down South Group comprises thirteen barrows (36–44); four of them lie in the neighbouring parish of Long Crichel (see Dorset V). They are between 200 ft. and 250 ft. above O.D., and extend in an irregular line from W. to E. on the northward-facing slope of a dry combe which falls E. to the Crichel brook. All these barrows were excavated in 1938 by S. and C. M. Piggott (Arch., XC (1944), 47–80); they are no longer visible on the ground and former dimensions, etc. are recorded.
(36) Bowl (95381067), covering a primary cremation, associated with a calcite double-spaced bead, in a circular grave cut into the chalk; diam. 25 ft., ht. 1 ft. (Piggott, 18).
(37) Bowl (95501069), disturbed in the past, yielded a cremation, probably primary, under an inverted cinerary urn in a shallow pit in the chalk; diam. 35 ft., ht. 1½ ft. (Piggott, 12).
(38) Bowl (95621064), with a primary crouched inhumation near the centre associated with a leaf-shaped arrowhead; diam. 40 ft., ht. 1 ft. (Piggott, 13).
(39) Bowl (95731061), covering a primary cremation in a pit cut into the chalk; diam. 12 ft., ht. 1 ft. (Piggott, 15).
(40) Bowl (95741058), containing a primary crouched inhumation with a trephined skull, associated with a bell beaker, in a central grave cut into the chalk, and a secondary cremation near it; diam. 17 ft., ht. less than 1 ft. (Piggott, 14).
(41) Bowl (95771060), apparently disturbed by earlier digging, probably had contained a primary inhumation associated with a small long-necked beaker; diam. 25 ft., ht. 1 ft. (Piggott, 16).
(42) Bowl (95711050), containing a primary crouched inhumation, associated with a bronze awl and a long-necked beaker, in a large grave cut into the chalk. An urn of 'degenerate food-vessel' type was found in a secondary position in this grave. Diam. 18 ft., ht. 1 ft. (Piggott, 17).
(43) Bowl (95891056), yielding a primary cremation and four secondary cremations, one of them associated with an inverted sub-biconical urn (Arch. J., CXIX (1962), 41, 62). An intrusive crouched inhumation near the edge of the mound was probably Romano-British or pagan Saxon. Diam. 40 ft., ht. 2 ft., with a horseshoe-shaped ditch with a causeway on the E. (Piggott, 9; Dorset Barrows, Long Crichel, No. 22).
(44) Bowl (95901060), with three extended inhumations, perhaps intrusive and probably of pagan Saxon origin, in a shallow scraping in the chalk; diam. 20 ft., ht. less than 1 ft. (Piggot, 6; Dorset Barrows, Long Crichel, No. 19).

http://www.british-history.ac.uk/rchme/dorset/vol4/pp105-107#h3-0005
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