Two bowl barrows, 350m SE of Stevenstone Farm


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


Ordnance survey map of Two bowl barrows, 350m SE of Stevenstone Farm
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

East Devon (District Authority)
Upton Pyne
National Grid Reference:
SX 91225 99295

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 protection.

Limited excavation of these barrows has confirmed the survival of detailed evidence for the mound's construction, and in one case the primary burial, while leaving sufficient areas unexcavated to allow intact preservation both of that evidence and any secondary burials that were made in the barrows. The unusual low-lying position of the Upton Pyne barrow group, its good overall preservation, and the quality of the dating, oonstructional and artefactual information that it has already produced, have all resulted in its frequent mention in national reviews of Bronze Age funerary monuments.


The monument includes two bowl barrows centred 45m apart on an E-W axis, each surviving as a low earthen mound, 30m in diameter and 0.5m high, in an arable field. Both barrows were partially excavated in 1870. In the eastern barrow, the excavation revealed the mound's layered construction, possibly using turves, though no burials or grave goods were recovered. The excavation of the western barrow also revealed a layered mound, of sand, clay and peat, covering a central cremation burial accompanied by a copper-alloy pin and a small grooved-and-rivetted dagger, a small decorated pottery cup, a necklace of shale and fossil beads and a quantity of carbonised wheat. The burial and grave goods were themselves covered by a circular heap of burnt clay and ashes, probably the remains of a central burial structure. These barrows form the central and easternmost of an E-W linear group of three barrows, locally called the `Three Barrows', spaced 10-25m apart along the S crest of a low ridge. Their position overlooks the centre of the area covered by the Upton Pyne barrow group, which comprises over thirty recorded barrows dispersed about a low-lying alluvial basin north of the confluences of the River Exe with the Rivers Culm and Creedy. Within the overall group, barrows occur both as isolated examples and forming localised clusters, some linear such as this example. Grave goods and a radiocarbon date derived from the few partly- excavated barrows in the group indicate burials during the early and middle Bronze Age (around 2000 - 1000 BC). All of the upstanding barrows in this group present the appearance of unditched bowl barrows, the absence of ditches being supported by aerial photographic evidence and confirmed for all examples that have been excavated.

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
Todd, M, The South-West to A.D. 1000, (1987), 148-50
Todd, M, The South-West to A.D. 1000, (1987), 148-150
Powers, R, 'Proc. Devon Arch. Soc.' in The Cremated Bones From a Barrow At Stevenson Farm, Upton Pyne, , Vol. 27, (1969), 76
Devon SMR entries for SX 99 NW-119 and -120,
Devon SMR entry for SX 99 NW-021 and -052,
Devon SMR entry for SX 99 NW-021, -026 and -052,
Devon SMR entry for SX 99 NW-026,
Devon SMR entry for SX 99 NW-027,
Fox, A., South-West England, (1964)
Title: 1:50000 Map, No. 192: Exeter, Sidmouth & surrounding area Source Date: Author: Publisher: Surveyor:


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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