Linear round barrow cemetery at Castle Park, Alphington

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012347

Date first listed: 31-Jul-1991

Map

Ordnance survey map of Linear round barrow cemetery at Castle Park, Alphington
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Location

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

County: Devon

District: Teignbridge (District Authority)

Parish: Exminster

National Grid Reference: SX 92119 89196

Summary

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

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.

This example at Castle Park is particularly significant in that it is unparalleled in Devon and extends the known national distribution of linear round barrow cemeteries.

History

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Details

This round barrow cemetery lies 200m west of Matford Barton, near the brow of a slope which descends southwards to Matford Brook. It consists of a group of at least nine barrows in linear arrangement, extending for some 150m westwards from the largest, easternmost barrow. Apart from the largest barrow the cemetery is a flat site, its extent having been revealed by aerial photography. The eastern barrow is 44m by 40m in diameter and 1.5m in height. Aerial photographs show that it has a perimeter ditch and a central circular feature approximately 10m in diameter. This central feature is thought to be a burial. When ploughed, the soil is noticeably more stony over this area than elsewhere in the field. The other eight barrows are visible from aerial photographs, but cannot be traced visibly at ground level; they appear as a closely, but irregularly spaced linear group of ring ditches from c.4m to - c.16m in diameter. The public footpath along the northern field boundary is not included in the scheduling.

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.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: 10625

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Other
Devon County SMR SX 98 NW-011,

End of official listing