Two round barrows on Culbone Hill
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1006207
Date first listed: 01-Nov-1934
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: West Somerset (District Authority)
National Park: EXMOOR
National Grid Reference: SS 82400 47603, SS 83047 47362
Two round cairns 880m SSW and 1140m south west of Silcombe.
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 other two areas, Dartmoor and Bodmin Moor, there has been no history of antiquarian research and little excavation of Exmoor monuments. However, survey work 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 including stone settings, stone alignments, standing stones, and burial mounds (barrows or cairns). Round cairns are funerary monuments dating from the Late Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age, with most examples belonging to the period 2400-1500BC. They were constructed as rubble mounds 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 barrows or cairns, varying in diameter from 2m to 35m, have been recorded on Exmoor, with many of these 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. Individual cairns 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 longevity as a monument type can provide important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period. Despite some partial early excavation or stone robbing the two round cairns 880m SSW and 1140m south west of Silcombe survive well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to their construction, relative chronologies, territorial significance, social organisation, ritual and funerary practices and overall landscape context.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 29 July 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 two areas, includes two round cairns situated on the summit of a prominent coastal ridge called Culbone Hill. The western cairn survives as a circular stony mound measuring up to 10.8m in diameter and 0.8m high with the possible visible remains of a stone built retaining kerb on the north western perimeter. The cairn once supported a triangulation pillar but this has subsequently been removed. The eastern cairn survives as a circular stony mound measuring up to 10m in diameter and 0.8m high. There are visible hollows to the north east and south west suggesting stone robbing or early partial excavation.
Further archaeological remains survive within the vicinity some are the subject of separate schedulings but others are not included because they have not been formally assessed.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: SO 158
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
PastScape Monument No:-35896 and 35893
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing