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Culliford Tree Barrow

Long Barrow

<b>Culliford Tree Barrow</b>Posted by formicaantImage © Mike Rowland 21/04/2007.
Also known as:
  • Music Barrow
  • Culliver's Tree
  • Culliford clump.

Nearest Town:Dorchester (5km NNW)
OS Ref (GB):   SY699854 / Sheet: 194
Latitude:50° 40' 0.75" N
Longitude:   2° 25' 33.45" W

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<b>Culliford Tree Barrow</b>Posted by formicaant <b>Culliford Tree Barrow</b>Posted by formicaant <b>Culliford Tree Barrow</b>Posted by formicaant <b>Culliford Tree Barrow</b>Posted by danielspaniel <b>Culliford Tree Barrow</b>Posted by danielspaniel


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I think the best time to see this site is when the trees aren't in full leaf. There is a definte combination of berm , ditch and bank surrounding the base of the barrow. I'm not sure I like the trees either but they do stop these barrows from being ploughed into oblivion. formicaant Posted by formicaant
17th April 2007ce
Edited 17th April 2007ce

This tree covered round barrow lies between the road and the east side of Came Wood itself. (It actually lies to the West of the road, and I hadn't read Rhiannons folklore post so didn't listen for fairy music - it was too early in the day anyway!)

This is an atmospheric place and I feel compelled to sit awhile and soak it up. Although I have mixed feelings about the old fashion of planting barrows and earthworks with a crown of trees, they certainly add to the sacred feel of this site, encasing me in a green chamber on this June morning.

The crater in the top tells of a 'volcano' excavation;
In 1858 four internments were discovered, one of which had a necklace of amber beads, two of which had gold casings.

Look East and you face towards a line of 5 round barrows, with the bank barrow just beyond.
Many carvings on the trees here, the earliest I can spot is 1939. Needless to say, I don't add to them!
Think I'll go and have a peep through the trees at the wooded long barrow down the path to the North.
danielspaniel Posted by danielspaniel
9th June 2005ce
Edited 9th June 2005ce


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Grinsell in his 'Dorset Barrows' picks out one of these mounds - at SY699854. It is locally known as Culliford Tree, or the Music Barrow. It used to be the meeting place of the Hundred.

If you listen right at its apex, right at midday, you ought to hear fairy music.

Though, as Grinsell said: "The present writer has done so (May 1954) but heard only the cuckoo and some jet aircraft."

Perhaps he just wasn't listening hard enough.


There's some confusion about this, as I read in John Symonds Udal's 'Dorsetshire Folklore' (1922). He's quoting Charles Warne's 'Celtic Tumuli of Dorset' (1866) so I suppose the best thing is to find that book first hand.

He says Warne states "on Bincombe Down there is a 'Music Barrow' of which the rustics say that if the ear be laid close to the apex at midday the sweetest melody will be heard within." And then, Udal says "Mr Warne speaks of a similar superstition attaching to a certain tumulus at Culliford Tree as he has attributed to the Music Barrow on the neighbouring Bincombe Down."

Are there two musical barrows or one? It's all very confusing (and probably bemusing, if you are a cynic who doesn't believe in musical barrows). I advise anyone who is truly interested to take a different barrow each day and press their ear to them.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
7th January 2004ce
Edited 6th September 2005ce


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This barrow is also known locally as Culliford "clump". The depressions in the top of this are almost certainly signs of "amateur" archaeology in the past. There was however a rumour that an arms cache was buried here in 1940 in case of German invasion. formicaant Posted by formicaant
23rd March 2007ce
Edited 24th March 2007ce