A bowl barrow 570m NNE of Putts Corner, forming part of a round barrow cemetery on Gittisham Hill


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1014254

Date first listed: 15-Jan-1948

Date of most recent amendment: 11-Apr-1996


Ordnance survey map of A bowl barrow 570m NNE 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

National Grid Reference: SY 14733 96770

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. This barrow is one of 13 that form the Gittisham Hill barrow cemetery. Although partly disturbed by antiquarian investigation, most of the mound of the bowl barrow remains intact, and will preserve buried features, the old land surface, and archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction and use.


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 a single bowl barrow situated within an area of heathland on level ground on Gittisham Hill. The barrow consists of a mound of evenly rounded profile, 21m in diameter and c.1.4m in height. There is no evidence that it was surrounded by a ditch. Two trenches have been cut into the mound. On the north side there is a trench aligned east-west, with maximum dimensions of 8m in length, 2m wide, and 0.5m deep. On the east side there is a similar trench aligned north-south, 4m long, 2m wide and 0.5m deep. The trenches lie at right angles and have the appearance of World War II Home Guard defences. An antiquarian investigation in 1869, when a trench was cut through the mound in an east-west or north east-south west direction, demonstrated that the barrow is composed of a central mound of black peaty earth or turves covered with a layer of stones about 1ft (30cm) in thickness, in turn covered with a layer of dark soil. The finds were few but included burnt bone, flint flakes, coarse pottery, charcoal, sling stones, and haematite (red ochre). The excavation trench was evidently back-filled, and does not relate to the trenches now visible in the mound.

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: 27409

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
Kirwan, R, 'Report of the Transactions of the Devonshire Association' in Notes On The Prehistoric Archaeology of East Devon, Part III, , Vol. 4, (1870), 295-304
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