Bowl barrow 230m north west of Farway Castle, forming part of a dispersed barrow group on Farway Hill
- 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 26-May-2019 at 05:22:41.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- East Devon (District Authority)
- National Grid Reference:
- SY 15943 95756
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 Farway Hill barrows, a number of which form a barrow cemetery, comprise the central section of the most extensive and densest concentration of barrows in Devon. Their association with Farway Castle adds additional depth to this relict ritual landscape. Limited archaeological excavations of some of the barrows have revealed that they have a remarkable diversity in size and form, and in the nature of their funerary contents. This barrow survives well and is one of the larger barrows in the group. The barrow was partially landscaped, probably in the 18th century, an event which, unusually, has surviving documentary evidence.
The Farway Hill barrows are situated in south east Devon on the high ground
of an extensive Greensand plateau in an area some 8km south of Honiton where
it forms the watershed of the River Sid. These funeral monuments are grouped
around Farway Castle, a substantial circular earthwork enclosure which is
believed to be contemporary.
The monument is situated on the west side of the crest of a ridge and
includes a substantial bowl barrow 22m in diameter and 1.7m in height with
steep sides and a flatter, rounded top. It is surrounded by a largely infilled
ditch about 2m wide and up to 0.5m deep from which material was quarried for
the construction of the barrow.
At some point, probably in the 18th century, the barrow was partially
landscaped by being enclosed and planted with trees. A description from the
late 19th century states that a deep narrow trench had been cut around the
base of the barrow, and soil thrown up on each side. It appears that a hedge
may have been planted on the bank raised on the inner side of the ditch.
Subsequently the trench has been infilled.
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
Fox, A, 'Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society' in The Broad Down (Farway) Necropolis, , Vol. 4, (1948), 1-19
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society' in The Barrows of South and East Devon, , Vol. 41, (1983), 5-46
Simpson, S, Noble, S, 'Exeter Museums Archaeological Field Unit Report' in Archaeological Survey & Management Study of Areas of E Devon, , Vol. 93.38, (1993)
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