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


Ordnance survey map of Two bowl barrows at Moorland Gate
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Devon

District: North Devon (District Authority)

Parish: Burrington

County: Devon

District: Torridge (District Authority)

Parish: Ashreigney

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 protection.

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)

End of official listing