Pair of bowl barrows 405m east of East Water Drove (Part of Priddy Nine Barrows Cemetery)


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.

Mendip (District Authority)
Chewton Mendip
National Grid Reference:
ST 53866 51730

Reasons for Designation

Round barrow cemeteries date to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They comprise closely-spaced groups of up to 30 round barrows - rubble or earthen mounds covering single or multiple burials. Most cemeteries developed over a considerable period of time, often many centuries, and in some cases acted as a focus for burials as late as the early medieval period. They exhibit considerable diversity of burial rite, plan and form, frequently including several different types of round barrow, occasionally associated with earlier long barrows. Where large scale investigation has been undertaken around them, contemporary or later "flat" burials between the barrow mounds have often been revealed. Round barrow cemeteries occur across most of lowland Britain, with a marked concentration in Wessex. In some cases, they are clustered around other important contemporary monuments such as henges. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape, whilst their diversity and their longevity as a monument type provide important information on the variety of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving or partly-surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.

The `Priddy Nine Barrows' linear round barrow cemetery survives well despite small areas of localised disturbance caused by partial excavation of some of the barrow mounds. The survival of the barrow mounds and the fills of the barrow ditches give the cemetery potential for the recovery of archaeological and environmental evidence relating both to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed. The area between the barrow mounds appears to survive undisturbed and is believed likely to contain further burials in the form of flat graves and urnfields as well as evidence for Bronze Age occupation. The importance of the monument is enhanced by its association with a second linear round barrow cemetery 300m to the north, as well as its proximity to the `Priddy Circles' 750m to the north. Numerous other burial monuments of the same date also survive in the area. Such evidence gives an indication of the intensity of occupation and the nature of social organisation present in the area during the Bronze Age period.


The monument includes two bowl barrows set 20m apart on the crest of North Hill 405m to the east of East Water Drove. The two barrows are the northernmost of nine forming a linear barrow cemetery aligned on a north to southeast axis and known as `Priddy Nine Barrows'. The northernmost of the two bowl barrows comprises a mound 20m in diameter and c.2.5m 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. A slight central depression may indicate early exploration of the site. The southernmost of the two bowl barrows comprises a mound 20m in diameter and c.2.75m high at its highest point. A quarry ditch surrounds the barrow mound. This survives as an earthwork c.3m wide and 0.25m deep on the west side, and elsewhere survives as a buried feature. A large central depression may mark the site of either previous excavation or quarrying.

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.

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Books and journals
Grinsell, L, 'Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeology and Natural Hist Soc' in Somerset Barrows Part II, , Vol. Vol 115, (1971), 113
Tratman, E K, 'Proceedings of the Univ of Bristol Speleological Society' in Fieldwork, , Vol. Vol 2(3), (1925), 284-5


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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