Two bowl barrows and a round cairn on Lydeard Hill, 750m north of Tilbury Farm


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


Ordnance survey map of Two bowl barrows and a round cairn on Lydeard Hill, 750m north of Tilbury Farm
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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This copy shows the entry on 16-Sep-2019 at 01:45:42.


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

Taunton Deane (District Authority)
West Bagborough
National Grid Reference:
ST 17755 34254, ST 17907 34205, ST 18168 34161

Reasons for Designation

The area of the Quantock Hills, although small in extent, is one of the few remaining expanses of open moorland in southern Britain. Its archaeological importance lies in the existence of a landscape displaying examples of monuments tracing the exploitation of the hills from the Bronze Age onwards. Well-preserved monuments from the Bronze Age and Iron Age, including round barrows, cairns, settlements, hillforts and a trackway, as well as later industrial remains, give insights into changes in the pattern of land use on the hills through time. These earthworks are one of the key components of the Quantocks' broader landscape character. 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. In excess of 30 bowl barrows can be found on the Quantock Hills. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape and their considerable variation in form and longevity as a monument type provide important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisations among 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 and a round cairn on Lydeard Hill survive comparatively well despite possible antiquarian disturbance. Bowl barrows and round cairns in close proximity are a recognised feature of the Bronze Age period on the Quantock Hills with the cairns forming a rarer class of monument. The pair of barrows and a cairn on Lydeard Hill will contain archaeological deposits and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed.


The monument, which falls into three areas, includes two Bronze Age bowl barrows and a Bronze Age round cairn aligned broadly from east to west along the crest of Lydeard Hill in the south western region of the Quantock Hills. The easternmost bowl barrow is 21m in diameter and 1.8m high with a large hollow centre; it has previously been recorded with a surrounding quarry ditch 3m wide which has become infilled over the years but which will survive as a buried feature. About 250m to the west is a bowl barrow 20m in diameter and 1.5m high which has been dug into on its southern side; it too is likely to have possessed a surrounding quarry ditch which will survive as a buried feature. The westernmost barrow, which lies a further 150m WNW, takes the form of round cairn (where the mound material contains a greater proportion of stone rather than earth), which is 21m in diameter and a maximum of 1m high. This cairn has a hollow centre which may be the result of antiquarian investigation; spoil heaps adjacent to the mounds of both of the bowl barrows are also considered to be the result of these unrecorded excavations.

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:
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Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of Somerset Archaelogical & Natural History Society' in Somerset Barrows, , Vol. 113, (1969), 27
43002, (1985)
43609, (1986)


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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