Chapman Barrows round barrows


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1004580

Date first listed: 18-Aug-1976


Ordnance survey map of Chapman Barrows round barrows
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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: Challacombe

County: Devon

District: North Devon (District Authority)

Parish: Parracombe

National Park: EXMOOR

National Grid Reference: SS 69262 43464, SS 69277 43500, SS 69349 43723, SS 69400 43488, SS 69447 43476, SS 69536 43478, SS 69694 43470, SS 69872 43469, SS 69997 43205, SS 70000 43477, SS 70082 43338


Prehistoric round barrow cemetery called Chapman Barrows.

Reasons for Designation

Round barrow cemeteries date to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They comprise closely-spaced groups of up to 30 round barrows - rubble or earthen mounds covering single or multiple burials. Most cemeteries developed over a considerable period of time, often many centuries, and in some cases acted as a focus for burials as late as the early medieval period. They exhibit considerable diversity of burial rite, plan and form, frequently including several different types of round barrow. Where large scale investigation has been undertaken around them, contemporary or later "flat" burials between the barrow mounds have often been revealed. Round barrow cemeteries may be clustered around other important contemporary monuments such as henges. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape, whilst their diversity and their longevity as a monument type provide important information on the variety of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period. Despite partial excavation, some reduction in height of a number of the mounds at Chapman Barrows through cultivation and the construction of field boundaries and a triangulation pillar, as a group they survive well and will contain important archaeological and environmental evidence relating to their construction, use and landscape context.


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 2 November 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.

This monument which falls into eleven separate areas includes a prehistoric round barrow cemetery situated on a prominent ridge which acts as a watershed between tributaries for several rivers including the Barbrook, River Barle, West Lyn River and the River Bray. The barrow cemetery survives as eleven circular mounds in a mainly linear arrangement which range in size from 14.7m to 32.6m in diameter and from 0.6m to 3.2m in height. The surrounding quarry ditches from which material to construct the mounds was derived survive as buried features up to 3m wide. One barrow has a 0.8m wide berm near its base and three others have apparent kerbs. Two barrows are bisected by a field boundary and three further mounds have been partially cut by it. Five barrows have excavation hollows at their summits, one of which was opened by Thomas Antell in 1885 to quarry stone for field boundary repairs. Chanter carried out an excavation in 1905 on the largest barrow in the group which revealed a low stone built retaining kerb and a cremation burial. The excavation trench is still clearly visible. One barrow has had a circular mound with an Ordnance Survey Triangulation pillar added to the top. This barrow cemetery is associated with other ritual monuments in the area some of which are subject to separate schedulings.


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

Legacy System number: DV 205

Legacy System: RSM - OCN


PastScape Monument No:-34724

End of official listing