This browser is not fully supported by Historic England. Please update your browser to the latest version so that you get the best from our website.

Two ring cairns 410m south east of Higher Blannicombe, forming part of a round barrow cemetery on Farway 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 ring cairns 410m south east of Higher Blannicombe, forming part of a round barrow cemetery on Farway Hill

List entry Number: 1014245

Location

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

County: Devon

District: East Devon

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Honiton

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 10-Apr-1996

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 24971

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

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 Farway Hill barrows, a number of which form a barrow cemetery, comprise the central area of one of the most extensive and densest concentrations of barrows in Devon. 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. Although partly excavated, the two ring cairns remain reasonably well preserved examples of this class of monument. Their banks remain largely intact and will preserve underlying features. The ring cairns lie on the far northern edge of the Farway Hill barrow group and are the only ring cairns identified in that group.

History

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

Details

The Farway Hill barrows are situated in south east Devon, 8km south of Honiton, on the high ground of an extensive Greensand plateau where it forms the watershed of the south-flowing River Sid. The monument includes two ring cairns and the area of archaeologically sensitive ground between them, situated on the crest of the north eastern end of the long ridge forming Farway Hill. They lie on level ground and are 3.5m apart. The south east ring cairn survives as an earth bank up to 1.2m in height and 2.5m wide with a sloping outer face and a vertical inner face, enclosing an area of recessed ground 9m in diameter and c.0.5m lower than the surrounding ground surface. On the south east side a 4m long section of the bank lies 1m- 2m further out than the rest of the bank. The north west ring cairn survives as an earth bank up to 0.6m in height and 2m wide with a sloping outer face and a vertical inner face, enclosing an area of recessed ground 6m-7m in diameter and 0.3m lower than the surrounding ground surface. An embanked trench 7m long and 2m-4m in width (stepped on its north side) connects the two ring cairns. The ring cairns were discovered in 1965 when the heath was ploughed by the Forestry Commission for tree planting. A rescue excavation was undertaken to record the cairns which included an investigation of their interiors, sampling of their enclosing banks, and the excavation of a trench between them. They were subsequently landscaped into their present form with banks being heaped over the two exposed rings of stone and along the edge of the excavation. The area of the excavation is visible as recessed ground within the two cairns and the embanked trench between them. As excavated, the south east ring cairn was composed of an irregular ring of flinty stones 1m-2.5m wide and 13.5m-15m in external diameter, enclosing a central open area of 9.5m-11m diameter. The central area contained a number of small pits, with some intercut and extending beneath and beyond the bank of the cairn. Forty of the pits contained charcoal in their fills. One cremation consisting of poorly preserved bone mixed with charcoal and fragments of heat shattered flint, was located in a small pit towards the western side of the cairn. Two other pits may have contained cremations. As excavated, the north west ring cairn was composed of an irregular ring of flinty stones 1m-2m wide and 9m-10m in external diameter, enclosing a central open area of 6m-7m diameter. The western side of the ring contained a number of slabs of flint which may have originally composed a cist (stone lined burial chamber). The open area contained a number of small pits, with some extending beneath and beyond the bank of the cairn. None of the pits contained charcoal. The area of ground between the cairns is archaeologically sensitive in that it has been demonstrated by excavation to contain features relating to the construction and use of the cairns. A small assemblage of worked flint containing some tools was recovered from the cairns.

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.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society' in The Barrows of South and East Devon, , Vol. 41, (1983), 5-46
Pollard, S, 'Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society' in Seven Prehistoric Sites, Near Honiton, Devon. Pt 2., , Vol. 29, (1971), 162-180

National Grid Reference: SY 16502 97419

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. 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 - 1014245 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 19-Aug-2018 at 02:26:17.

End of official listing