The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian


Badbury Barrow

Round Barrow(s) (Destroyed)

<b>Badbury Barrow</b>Posted by juameiImage © juamei
Also known as:
  • Monument No. 209549

Nearest Town:Wimborne Minster (6km E)
OS Ref (GB):   ST9602 / Sheet: 195
Latitude:50° 49' 1.03" N
Longitude:   2° 3' 24.43" W

Added by Chance

Discussion Topics0 discussions
Start a topic

Show map   (inline Google Map)

Images (click to view fullsize)

Add an image Add an image
<b>Badbury Barrow</b>Posted by juamei <b>Badbury Barrow</b>Posted by juamei <b>Badbury Barrow</b>Posted by fitzcoraldo <b>Badbury Barrow</b>Posted by fitzcoraldo


Add fieldnotes Add fieldnotes
I spent my lunch break strolling round the Bronze Age parts of the British Museum today and came home determined to look up the Badbury stone in Grinsell. It's a bit confusing as he doesn't use the name the Three Kings at any point, but the barrows in question are probably what he calls Shapwick 5, 6a and 6b (6a having yielded the stone). But although the Museum information says the barrow was destroyed, Grinsell puts it down at 9 feet high and I suspect it has not been destroyed since. Anyway here's his marvellous description:

"...nearly levelled 1845, but removal of the centre was watched by JHA [J H Austen]. About three inhumations, probably primary, two with food-vessels and one with an ornamented handled pot resembling those of Cornish type; up to 15 cremations (perhaps more), a few possibly contemporary with the inhumations, the majority clearly secondary and a few with E/MBA [early to middle Bronze Age] collared urns of a latish type; as far as can now be ascertained, none was LBA [late Bronze Age]. The barrow consisted of a central cairn of local sandstone blocks enclosed in a ring of flints, which was bordered by a massive wall of sandstone 30 feet diameter, outside of which was a ring of chalk about 15 feet wide, which must have originally covered the mound. The interments were probably all in the central cairn. In the centre according to Durden (not in the surrounding wall as often stated) was the well-known large slab of sandstone which was decorated with carvings of daggers and axes, the former of type similar to those from Stonehenge, conjectured to be of Mycenean type.

from "Dorset Barrows", 1959.
UncleRob Posted by UncleRob
17th November 2008ce
Edited 7th July 2018ce


Add miscellaneous Add miscellaneous
Details of barrow and stone on Pastscape

(ST 9602) The 'Badbury Barrow', which yielded remarkable finds when destroyed in 1845, was situated near Badbury Rings (ST 90 SE 45). Under the barrow mound, which was some 60 feet in diameter and 9 feet high, a central cairn of sandstone blocks was enclosed in a ring of flints bordered by a circular sandstone wall 30 feet in diameter, Within the cairn were at least three inhumations, apparently primary, two of them with food-vessels and one with an ornamental handled pot. Also probably in the cairn were at least fifteen cremations, a few perhaps primary, but most of them secondary, some with collared urns. At the centre, a huge slab of sandstone weighing half a ton was decorated with cup marks and carvings of daggers and axes similar to those at Stonehenge.
Opening another barrow in the same field, J.H. Austen found a primary cremation in a bucket urn with four lugs, in a charcoal
filled cist. (For possible sitings of these barrows see ST 90 SW 14 and ST 90 SE 52). (1-4)
A report on an opened tumulus one mile south of Badbury Rings bears many similarities with the feature recorded by authorities 1-4, and is probably the same barrow but seen by authority 5 at an earlier stage of its destruction. The barrow was 8 feet high, 225 feet in circumference and was opened for the purpose of obtaining flints. At 12 feet in from the outer edge, a circular wall of sandstone blocks, 3 feet high, was encountered, 'laid in a rude manner'. Within this was a fill of flints (of which 120 cartloads were wheeled away) shelving down towards the centre of the barrow. The nucleus consisted of chalk and 'mould', below which were 5 cists. Two secondary internments were noted. (The account of the barrow was communicated to the author by Dr Wake-Smart who compares the barrow to the tomb of Aepytus observed by Homer in Arcadia. Warne (auth 3) in his account of the Badbury barrow notes that Wake-Smart makes exactly the same comment concerning the Badbury barrow. There can be little doubt that authorities 3 and 5 are therefore refering to the same barrow).
Only 3 of the 10 or 11 urns discovered in 1845 have survived, but these indicate a Middle Bronze Age date. The carvings on a kerb-stone represent bronze weapons and cup-marks.

The decorated surface of this stone was detached from its block and is now in the British Museum. (7)
Full description of the pottery and carved kerb-stone. (8)
Chance Posted by Chance
4th April 2016ce
Edited 4th April 2016ce