Bowl barrow 800m south of Townsend Farm
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
- Date of most recent amendment:
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This copy shows the entry on 21-Oct-2019 at 16:10:59.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- Mendip (District Authority)
- National Grid Reference:
- ST 51735 51113
Reasons for Designation
Bowl barrows, the most numerous form of round barrow, are funerary monuments
dating from the Late Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age, with most
examples belonging to the period 2400-1500 BC. 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. Often superficially similar,
although differing widely in size, they exhibit regional variations in form
and a diversity of burial practices. There are over 10,000 surviving bowl
barrows recorded nationally (many more have already been destroyed), occurring
across most of lowland Britain. Often occupying prominent locations, they are
a major historic element in the modern landscape and their considerable
variation of form and longevity as a monument type provide important
information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisations amongst early
prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period
and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of
The barrow 800m south of Townsend Farm survives comparatively well despite an area of localised disturbance caused by B M Skinner's partial excavation in 1816. Although the primary burial has been excavated, it is believed that secondary burials, the ditch fills, and much of the barrow mound survive intact. The barrow contains archaeological and environmental evidence relating both to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed. The importance of the monument is enhanced by its location in an area which supports a concentration of contemporary burial monuments, thus giving an indication of the nature and scale of human occupation during the Bronze Age period.
The monument includes a bowl barrow located on a rise overlooking Coxton End
Lane 800m south of Townsend Farm. The barrow mound is 16m in diameter and
c.1.75m high at its highest point. Although no longer visible at ground level
a ditch, from which material was quarried during the construction of the
monument, surrounds the barrow mound. This has become infilled over the years
but survives as a buried feature c.3m wide. The monument was partially
excavated by B M Skinner in 1816. A cist or stone lined grave containing a
cremation burial contemporary with the construction of the monument was
reported at a depth of 1.8m. Worked fragments of flint are visible in the
spoil from animal burrowing.
MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
- Legacy System number:
- Legacy System:
Books and journals
Grinsell, L, 'Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeology and Natural Hist Soc' in Somerset Barrows Part II, , Vol. Vol 115, (1971)
Tratman, EK, 'Proceedings of the Univ of Bristol Speleological Society' in Proceedings of the University of Bristol Speleological Society, , Vol. Vol 3(1), (1927)
Schofield, A J and Porter, D P, (1991)
Skinner, B.M., (Ms 33648 folio 157-8 30.08.1816), (1816)
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