Two bowl barrows, one 380m west and one 685m north west of Beech Croft

Overview

Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
1016415
Date first listed:
03-Jul-1946
Date of most recent amendment:
07-Jul-1999

Map

Ordnance survey map of Two bowl barrows, one 380m west and one 685m north west of Beech Croft
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Location

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County:
Somerset
District:
Taunton Deane (District Authority)
Parish:
Otterford
National Grid Reference:
ST 23574 13170, ST 23788 12791

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.

The two bowl barrows located 350m west and 650m north west of Beech Croft form part of a larger group of barrows collectively known as Robin Hood's Butts. Both barrows survive well, and, despite part of the ditch on the southern barrow having been cut by a drainage ditch, contain archaeological deposits and environmental evidence relating to the barrows and the wider landscape in which they were constructed.

Details

The monument, which falls into two separate areas, includes two bowl barrows forming part of a group of nine round barrows known as Robin Hood's Butts located on Brown Down in the eastern region of the Blackdown Hills. The two bowl barrows are aligned broadly from north west to south east. The mound of the northern barrow is approximately 4m high and 36m in diameter. The mound of the southern barrow is approximately 3.5m high and 38m in diameter. Each mound is surrounded by a ditch, approximately 3m wide, from which material was quarried during their construction and which now survive as shallow depressions, giving the barrows maximum overall diameters of 42m and 44m respectively. The ditch on the south side of the southern barrow has been cut by the drainage ditch which runs parallel to the boundary hedge. A report published in 1818 mentions a part excavation of one of the barrows where a cremation was found above a foundation of large stones. It is thought likely that the report refers to the southern barrow where a hollow is visible on the mound. All fenceposts are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Legacy

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
32167
Legacy System:
RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of Somerset Archaelogical & Natural History Society' in Somerset Barrows, (1969), 37
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of Somerset Archaelogical & Natural History Society' in Somerset Barrows, (1969), 37

Legal

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

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