A bell barrow, part of a cluster of monuments located north of Maiden Castle (see associated monument records). The barrow is listed by Grinsell as Winterborne Monkton 1b and by RCHME as Winterborne Monkton 6. Described by Grinsell as the largest bell barrow in Dorset, in 1980 the Ordnance Survey measured it at 7 metres high, with a mound 56 metres in diameter separated from the ditch by a berm 5 metres wide, the overall diameter of the monument being circa 76 metres. It was also noted that "on the NE side the ditch appears to have been destroyed and a 'false ditch' created by modern ploughing". Excavation in 1862 found a stone cist containing an inhumation in the top of the mound. A Romano-British date has been assumed for this secondary burial. RCHME noted that the field name "Great Barrow Field" probably referred to this barrow. The barrow is scheduled. This monument was formerly described as part of SY 68 NE 26. That record should be consulted for additional sources and information.
This is the huge barrow that can be seen just to the north of Maiden Castle and is one of the largest mounds in Dorset. It was part of a group of round barrows that seem to be related to an early long barrow that has since be ploughed out. It has only ever been partly excavated – a secondary burial of the Romano-Celtic era was discovered in 1862.
Ann Woodward in her book British Barrows (pages 139-143) goes into great detail about viewsheds from the top of the barrow and suggests that it was enlarged and heightened over time specifically for this purpose. Her evidence is certainly convincing, from the base of the barrow the views are limited, from the top there are sightlines to several long barrows as well as extensive views to the north and east from the North Dorset Ridge to Purbeck.
Ann Woodward – British Barrows, A Matter of Life and Death ISBN 0-7524-1468-2
English Heritage, Record of Scheduled Monuments