Three barrows including Great Halwill Barrow north of Halwill Junction


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016220

Date first listed: 28-Mar-1958

Date of most recent amendment: 24-Oct-1997


Ordnance survey map of Three barrows including Great Halwill Barrow north of Halwill Junction
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Devon

District: Torridge (District Authority)

Parish: Halwill

National Grid Reference: SS 44373 00244, SS 44493 00308, SS 44559 00303


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

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 limited damage as a result of modern activities, the three barrows north of Halwill Junction survive comparatively well and are known, from part excavation of one of the mounds, to contain archaeological and environmental information relating to the monument and its surrounding landscape. These barrows form part of a wider distribution which includes several other barrows situated within this part of Devon.


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


The monument, which falls into three areas of protection, includes three bowl barrows located on a high ridge which forms the watershed between the tributaries of the River Carey to the west, and those of the River Torridge to the east. Most spurs along the ridges in this area are rich in barrows, which indicates that the area was the focus of ritual activity in the past. The three barrows are aligned WSW-ENE.

The westernmost barrow, which is known as Great Halwill Barrow, survives as a circular mound measuring 24m in diameter and 3m high. The mound itself lies immediately adjacent to a disused railway cutting which has partly cut its western and southwestern sides. The barrow was partly excavated by Worth in the 1890s and this work revealed several layers of burnt clay, some fragments of calcined animal bone, Late Neolithic to Early Bronze Age pottery, charcoal and an amber pendant.

The central barrow of the three lies ENE of the first and survives as a 37m diameter circular mound standing up to 0.65m high.

The third barrow lies to the east and survives as a 33m diameter circular mound standing up to 1.65m high. A substantial field boundary bank crosses the mound from north to south on its eastern side and the ditch associated with this boundary has partly cut into the mound.

Surrounding all three mounds, though now cut away on the western side of the westernmost mound, were ditches from which material was quarried during their construction. These have become infilled over the years but now survive as buried features 2m wide.

All fences and fenceposts are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath 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: 28643

Legacy System: RSM


Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SS40SW10, (1982)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SS40SW11, (1982)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SS40SW5, (1982)

End of official listing