Kentisbury round barrows and camp


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1003870

Date first listed: 26-Jun-1924


Ordnance survey map of Kentisbury round barrows and camp
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Devon

District: North Devon (District Authority)

Parish: Kentisbury

National Park: EXMOOR

National Grid Reference: SS 64214 43460, SS 64269 43304, SS 64280 43441, SS 64326 43378


Slight univallate hillfort and three bowl barrows 300m north of East Bredwick Farm.

Reasons for Designation

Slight univallate hillforts are defined as enclosures of various shapes, situated on or close to hilltops and defined by a single line of earthworks, the scale of which is relatively small. They date to between the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age (eighth - fifth centuries BC). Slight univallate hillforts have generally been interpreted as stock enclosures, redistribution centres, places of refuge and permanent settlements. They are important for understanding the transition between Bronze Age and Iron Age communities.

Bowl barrows, the most numerous form of round barrow, are funerary monuments dating from the Late Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age, with most examples belonging to the period 2400-1500 BC. They were constructed as earthen or rubble mounds, which covered single or multiple burials. They occur either in isolation or groups and often acted as a focus for burials in later periods. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape and their considerable variation of form and longevity as a monument type provide important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisations amongst early prehistoric communities.

The slight univallate hillfort and three bowl barrows on Kentisbury Down are an unusual and important grouping of different monument classes. They represent a wide chronological range and appear to be crucial in emphasising territorial control over the surrounding area. They also indicate the changing uses of this prominent hillside through the past, and indicate the importance of the crossroads they overlook as a long established communication route. Despite reduction in their heights through later cultivation and disturbance by field boundaries, they survive comparatively well and will contain important archaeological and environmental evidence relating to their construction, use and their landscape context.


See Details.


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 27 October 2015. This 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 four areas, includes a slight univallate hillfort and three bowl barrows situated on a hill known as Kentisbury Down, overlooking the valley of a tributary to the River Yeo and the crossroads at Blackmore Gate. The hillfort survives as an oval enclosure, which measures up to 70m long by 50m wide internally and is defined by a bank up to 0.5m high with an outer buried ditch. To the north the rampart and ditch underlie more recent field boundaries. The three bowl barrows lie to the north and north east of the hillfort and survive as circular mounds each being surrounded by a buried construction ditch up to 4m wide. The northernmost is the largest and the mound measures up to 16m in diameter and 1.9m high. The remaining two mounds are up to 12m in diameter and 0.3m high. The central and southernmost barrows both underlie later field boundaries.

Further earthworks to the north, west and south are not included in the scheduling because they have not been formally assessed.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: DV 95

Legacy System: RSM - OCN


PastScape Monument Nos:- 34758 and 34778.

End of official listing