Round cairn known as Pixie's Mound


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


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

Somerset West and Taunton (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
ST 20907 45575

Reasons for Designation

Round cairns are prehistoric funerary monuments dating to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They were constructed as stone mounds covering single or multiple burials. These burials may be placed within the mound in stone-lined compartments called cists. In some cases the cairn was surrounded by a ditch. Often occupying prominent locations, cairns are a major visual element in the modern landscape. They are a relatively common feature and are the stone equivalent of the earthen round barrows. 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. Much is already known about this particular cairn which will retain further archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, longevity, re-use and overall landscape context.


The monument includes a round cairn situated at the summit of a low coastal hill, overlooking Bridgwater Bay at Hinkley Point. The barrow survives as a circular mound measuring up to 27m in diameter and 1.7m high. The barrow was excavated by Harold St George Gray in 1907. It had been subject to early partial excavation and cultivation during the 19th century when it produced human bones on at least three separate occasions before the 1913 excavation. This excavation revealed a two-phase burial structure with a central primary mound defined by a drystone retaining kerb up to 1.1m high with a diameter of approximately 9m . Thiswas subsequently enlarged to a diameter of approximately 25m by the addition of large quantities of stone with some sizeable individual blocks. The central area had been previously disturbed by the early excavations and Roman pottery was found amidst the disturbed backfilled material, along with large quantities of fragmentary human bone. Some 0.4m beneath the surface was a mass of mixed bones from at least six individuals, five adults and a child. Three undisturbed secondary crouched inhumations each accompanied by a beaker were found in the cairn. One was also accompanied by a flint dagger and a flint knife and another by a group of flints including four scrapers. Other finds included pottery sherds possibly of Neolithic date. The cairn is known locally by several names including 'Wick Barrow' and 'Burrow Sidwell'. Local traditions claim the pixies dance here at night and if the mound is removed during daylight it will be replaced overnight.

Sources: HER:-34063 PastScape Monument No:-191177


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

Legacy System number:
SO 28
Legacy System:


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

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