'Two Barrows', group of barrows (Hangley Cleave) See also DEVON 894
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1006210
Date first listed: 01-Jan-1900
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: North Devon (District Authority)
Parish: North Molton
District: West Somerset (District Authority)
National Park: EXMOOR
National Grid Reference: SS 74635 36212, SS 74702 36213, SS 74742 36209, SS 74856 36226
A group of four bowl barrows known as ‘Two Barrows’ 880m south east of Kinsford Gate.
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. Despite partial early excavation of all four of these prominent barrows they still continue to hold an important territorial significance marking the boundaries of modern Counties and Exmoor Forest and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to their construction, relative chronologies, social organisation, funerary and ritual practices and their 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 four areas includes four bowl barrows situated at the summit of the prominent ridge known as Span Head between Fyldon Common and Hangley Cleave, and straddling the county boundary between Devon and Somerset. The westernmost barrow survives as a circular mound measuring up to 19m in diameter and 0.6m high, has a central excavation hollow, and lies to the west of the road which bisects the group of four barrows. The northern side of this road also marks the county boundary. Immediately to the east of this road and partially cut by both it and a ditched field boundary lies the second bowl barrow which survives as an up to 21m diameter mound which stands to 0.9m high. This barrow has approximately three separate excavation hollows and was used as a boundary marker for both Exmoor Forest and the County. The most prominent barrow of the group survives as a circular mound which measures up to 19.8m in diameter and 2.1m high. It has a central excavation hollow and a possible backfilled trench leading across the summit from the south west to the north east. It is shown on Ordnance Survey maps from 1889 to 1904 supporting a triangulation pillar, but this is no longer present. The most easterly barrow of the group survives as a circular mound measuring up to 16.5m in diameter and 0.5m high and has a central excavation hollow. With all four barrows the surrounding up to 3m wide quarry ditches from which material to construct the mounds was derived survive as buried features.
Further archaeological remains in the vicinity are scheduled separately.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: SO 170
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
PastScape Monument No:-35011 and 35043
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