Two bowl barrows 450m south of South Furzehill.
Reasons for Designation
Exmoor is the most easterly of the three main upland areas in the south western peninsula of England. In contrast to the others, Dartmoor and Bodmin Moor, there has been no history of antiquarian research and little excavation of its monuments. However, detailed survey work by the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England has confirmed a comparable richness of archaeological remains, with evidence of human exploitation and occupation from the Mesolithic period to the present day. Many of the field monuments surviving on Exmoor date from the later prehistoric period. Examples include stone settings, stone alignments, standing stones, and burial mounds (`barrows'). Bowl barrows, the most numerous form of round barrow, are funerary monuments dating to the Late Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age, with most examples belonging to the period 2400-1500BC. They were constructed as earthen or rubble mounds, sometimes ditched, which covered single or multiple burials. They occur either in isolation or grouped as cemeteries and often acted as a focus for burials in later periods. Over 370 bowl barrows, varying in diameter from 2m to 35m, have been recorded on Exmoor. Many of these are found on or close to the summits of the three east-west ridges which cross the moor - the southern escarpment, the central ridge, and the northern ridge - whilst individual barrows and groups may also be found on lower lying ground and hillslopes. Those which occupy prominent locations form a major visual element in the modern landscape. Their considerable variation in form and longevity as a monument type provide important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.
Despite reduction in the heights of both barrows through cultivation and the crossing of the western barrow by a bank and ditch the two bowl barrows 450m south of South Furzehill survive comparatively well and will contain important archaeological and environmental evidence relating to their construction, relative chronology, funerary and ritual practices and general landscape context.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 10 November 2015. The record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.
The monument, which falls into two separate areas of protection, includes two bowl barrows situated on the lower northern slopes of Ilkerton Ridge between the West Lyn River and Warcombe Water. The western barrow survives as a circular flat topped mound measuring up to 14m in diameter and 1m high. The surrounding quarry ditch from which material to construct the mound was derived survives as a buried feature up to 3m wide. The eastern barrow survives as a circular mound measuring up to 9m in diameter and 0.7m high. Its surrounding quarry ditch is also preserved as an up to 3m wide buried feature.