Two bowl barrows, 220m ESE of Putts Corner, forming part of a round barrow cemetery on Gittisham Hill


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1014251

Date first listed: 05-Jan-1927

Date of most recent amendment: 11-Apr-1996


Ordnance survey map of Two bowl barrows, 220m ESE of Putts Corner, forming part of a round barrow cemetery on Gittisham Hill
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Devon

District: East Devon (District Authority)

Parish: Gittisham

County: Devon

District: East Devon (District Authority)

Parish: Sidmouth

National Grid Reference: SY 14797 96153


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 Gittisham Hill barrow cemetery comprises the western area of one of the most extensive and densest concentrations of barrows in Devon. Limited archaeological excavations of some of the barrows in this concentration have revealed that they show a remarkable diversity in size and form, and in the nature of their funerary contents. These two barrows are part of the 13 that form the Gittisham Hill barrow cemetery. Although the road is positioned between these two barrows and has removed parts of both of them, the major part of both barrows remains intact and will retain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to their construction and use. The larger barrow forms a prominent landmark.


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


The Gittisham Hill barrow cemetery is 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 bowl barrows and the archaeologically sensitive area of ground between them situated on the crest of Gittisham Hill. The B3174 runs between the barrows at which point the alignment of the road alters slightly. The southernmost barrow is of evenly rounded profile, 22m in diameter and c.1.2m high, and is composed of a peaty soil containing flinty stones up to 20cm in size. The barrow does not appear to have been surrounded by a ditch. A field bank lies across the northern edge of the mound. Beyond this, construction of the road has removed part of the barrow mound 4m wide radially. Antiquarian excavation in 1867 recovered no finds from the mound and no record was made of its internal structure. The northernmost barrow has steep sides and a flat top. It is 32m in diameter and c.2.6m high, composed of peaty soil containing small flinty stones. The barrow mound is surrounded by a ditch 4m wide, increasing to 6m on the east side, and up to 0.5m deep, which is seasonally waterlogged. The construction of the road has removed a segment 3m wide radially of the southern edge of the mound, and has infilled the ditch to form a level causeway. On the eastern slope of the mound there is a trench 15m in length and about 0.6m deep, with sloping sides 2m wide at the top, that arcs concentric to the mound, and has upcast soil on its outer side. This feature is understood to be a World War II Home Guard entrenchment. A small boundary stone is embedded in the south east sector of the mound. The area of ground between the two barrows is archaeologically sensitive in that it will contain burials, evidence of related activity, or archaeological evidence for the chronological relationship between them. Excluded from the monument are the made up surfaces of the road and lay-by and all fence posts, but the ground beneath them is included.

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: 27406

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Fox, A, 'Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society' in The Broad Down (Farway) Necropolis, , Vol. 4, (1952), 1-19
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society' in The Barrows of South and East Devon, , Vol. 41, (1983), 5-46
Hutchinson, , 'Report and Transactions of the Devonshire Association' in Report on Barrows near Sidmouth, , Vol. 12, (1880)
Simpson, S, Noble, S, 'Exeter Museums Archaeological Field Unit Report' in Archaeological Survey & Management Study of Areas of E Devon, , Vol. 93.38, (1993)

End of official listing