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Two bowl barrows on Beacon Hill

List Entry Summary

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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Two bowl barrows on Beacon Hill

List entry Number: 1014122

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Somerset

District: West Somerset

District Type: District Authority

Parish: West Quantoxhead

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 29-Jan-1976

Date of most recent amendment: 09-Feb-1996

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 22079

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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

Reasons for Designation

The area of the Quantock Hills, although small in extent, is one of the few remaining expanses of open moorland in southern Britain. Its archaeological importance lies in the existence of a landscape displaying examples of monuments tracing the exploitation of the hills from the Bronze Age onwards. Well-preserved monuments from the Bronze Age and Iron Age, including round barrows, cairns, settlements, hillforts and a trackway, as well as later industrial remains, give insights into changes in the pattern of land use on the hills through time. These earthworks are one of the key components of the Quantocks' broader landscape character. 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. In excess of 30 bowl barrows can be found on the Quantock Hills. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape and their considerable variation in form and longevity as a monument type provide important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisations among early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.

Despite having been damaged, the two bowl barrows on Beacon Hill are integral to the Beacon Hill mixed cemetery and will contain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the cemetery and the landscape in which it was constructed.

History

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

Details

The monument includes two bowl barrows on the top of Beacon Hill at the north west end of the Quantocks. The barrows form part of a wider mixed cemetery on the hill which includes two barrows and three cairns. The barrows which are aligned north west to south east have mounds which measure 24m and 23m in diameter and are 0.7m and 1m high respectively. There is a distance of 3m between the two barrows. Surrounding each mound is a ditch from which material was quarried during its construction. These ditches have become infilled over the years and can no longer be seen at ground level, but survive as buried features c.3m wide. Where the barrows are closest together the ditches will run into one. The southernmost barrow has an Ordnance Survey triangulation point on its top. The Ordnance Survey triangulation point is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath it is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of the Smerset Archaeological and Nat.Hist Society' in Somerset Barrows Part 1, (1969), 40
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of the Smerset Archaeological and Nat.Hist Society' in Somerset Barrows Part 1, (1969), 40

National Grid Reference: ST 12444 40997

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2017. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1014122 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 20-Nov-2017 at 09:42:18.

End of official listing