Two bowl barrows at Moorland Gate
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1015155
Date first listed: 01-Nov-1996
Date of most recent amendment: 18-Nov-1996
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: North Devon (District Authority)
District: Torridge (District Authority)
National Grid Reference: SS 59741 16475
Reasons for Designation
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. Often occupying prominent locations, they are
a major historic element in the modern landscape and their considerable
variation of form and longevity as a monument type provide important
information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisations amongst early
prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period
and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of
Despite the possibility of part excavation of the north western mound, the two bowl barrows at Moorland Gate survive comparatively well and contain archaeological and environmental information relating to the barrows and their surrounding landscape. These mounds form part of a group of barrows lying on the watershed between the Rivers Taw and Torridge.
This monument includes two bowl barrows aligned north west-south east situated
at Moorland Gate on an exposed hilltop on the watershed between the River
Torridge to the west and the River Taw to the east. Together, these barrows
form part of a larger group which occupies this impressive upland ridgeway
between the two major river systems. The north westernmost barrow survives as
a circular mound with a diameter of 24m standing up to 1.5m high. A slight
hollow in the centre of the mound may represent the site of an early part
excavation or robbing. The ditch from which material was quarried to construct
the mound surrounds the barrow and survives as a buried feature c.3.5m wide.
The second mound lies 14m to the south east of the first and survives as a
0.8m high, oval flat topped mound which measures 24.8m long from north to
south by 21.8m wide from east to west. The quarry ditch surrounding the mound
survives as a buried feature c.3.5m wide.
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: 28614
Legacy System: RSM
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SS51NE5, (1983)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SS51NE6, (1983)
MPP fieldwork by H. Gerrard, (1995)
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 Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing