Prehistoric barrow cemetery on Crownhill Down, 900m north of Drakelands Farm

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1004572

Date first listed: 22-Oct-1970

Date of most recent amendment: 17-Jan-2014

Location Description: Barrow Cemetery Crownhill Down is 900m north of Drakelands Farm, Drakeland Corner, and is centered on NGR SX5719359854, Sparkwell, South Hams, Devon

Map

Ordnance survey map of Prehistoric barrow cemetery on Crownhill Down, 900m north of Drakelands Farm
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1004572 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 20-Oct-2018 at 20:07:49.

Location

Location Description: Barrow Cemetery Crownhill Down is 900m north of Drakelands Farm, Drakeland Corner, and is centered on NGR SX5719359854, Sparkwell, South Hams, Devon

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Devon

District: South Hams (District Authority)

Parish: Sparkwell

National Grid Reference: SX5719159870

Summary

The monument includes twelve barrows and cairns, probably dating from the Early to Mid-Bronze Age. They are aligned north to south, near the summit of the prominent ridge known as Crownhill Down.

Reasons for Designation

The prehistoric barrow cemetery on the ridge at Crownhill Down is scheduled for the following principal reasons:

* Potential: it will contribute to our understanding of the social organisation and burial practices of the county's Bronze Age population; * Survival: the site survives comparatively well as earthworks with a diverse range of funerary structures including barrows, ring cairns and platform cairns; * Documentation (archaeological): survey has enhanced our understanding of the form and survival of these features and their landscape context; * Group value: it has strong group value with the adjacent barrow cemetery (Barrow cemetery on western slope of Crownhill Down, National Heritage List 1003201) and with other scheduled monuments in the area that collectively form an important archaeological landscape.

History

The prehistoric barrow cemetery at Crownhill Down includes a linear arrangement of barrows and cairns. The main period of round barrow construction occurred in the Early Bronze Age between about 2200-1500 BC, although Neolithic examples are known from as early as 3000 BC. They were constructed as earthen mounds, sometimes ditched, which covered single or multiple burials, and occur either in isolation or grouped as cemeteries and often acted as a focus of burials in later periods. Round barrows and cairns sometimes form mixed cemeteries, which are concentrations of one or more round barrows in close proximity to two or more cairns. Cairns can include ring cairns which are low, circular banks of stone defining a central space, sometimes with a mound in the centre, though often the central space is empty; and embanked platform cairns comprising low, circular platforms of stone or earth, topped with a low bank, and often with a central mound. Contemporary or later `flat' graves may lie between individual barrows. Barrow cemeteries occur throughout most of upland Britain; their distribution pattern complements that of contemporary lowland earthen round barrows. Most cemeteries developed over a considerable period and they can exhibit considerable diversity of burial rite, plan and form.

The barrow cemetery on Crownhill Down dates from the prehistoric period, probably the Bronze Age. The English Heritage PastScape entry states that at least two of its barrows show signs of possible antiquarian disturbance. In 2002 English Heritage carried out an archaeological landscape survey of Crownhill Down and the adjacent Riding Down creating a multi-phase plan of the area.

Details

PRINCIPAL ELEMENTS This monument includes twelve barrows and cairns, probably dating from the Early to Mid-Bronze Age. They are aligned north to south, near the summit of the prominent ridge known as Crownhill Down.

DESCRIPTION The cemetery survives as a linear arrangement of round barrows, a ring cairn and two platform cairns. The ring cairn is visible as a level, circular area measuring up to 8.7m in diameter, surrounded by a circular bank of up to 1.5m wide and 0.5m high. The two platform cairns take the form of flat-topped stony mounds measuring up to 13.5m in diameter and 0.4m high. The earthworks of the round barrows comprise circular stony mounds which vary in diameter from 8.9m up to 16m in diameter and from 0.3m up to 0.8m high. The associated quarry ditches, some 2m wide, from which the construction material was derived survive as earthworks around some of the mounds, those that have become filled in over time are likely to survive as buried features. Two of the round barrows appear to be conjoined.

EXCLUSIONS: the modern fence posts are excluded from the scheduling, however, the ground beneath them is included.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: DV 759

Legacy System: RSM - OCN

Sources

Books and journals
Fletcher, M, The Archaeolgocial Landscape of Crownhill Down and Ridding Down, South Hams, Devon: English Heritage Archaeological Investigation Report Series AI/31/2002, (2002)
Collis, J R, Gilbertson, D D, Hayes, P P, Samson, C S , 'Journal of Field Archaeology' in The Prehistoric And Medieval Field Archaeology Of Crownhill Down, Dartmoor, England, (Vol. 11, No. 1, Spring, 1984 )
Other
Devon Historic Environment Record:-1780 ,
Hughes, Simon, Crownhill Down barrow cemetery and Emmets Post round barrow, Sparkwell and Shaugh Moor Parishes, Devon: Results of an archaeological trial trench evaluation ACD253/1/1, June 2011,
PastScape Monument No:-438398 ,

End of official listing