Four bowl barrows and a standing stone 330m west of Higher Mattocks Down


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016656

Date first listed: 13-Feb-1953

Date of most recent amendment: 07-Jul-1999


Ordnance survey map of Four bowl barrows and a standing stone 330m west of Higher Mattocks Down
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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: East Down

National Grid Reference: SS 60076 43890


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 reduction in their height through cultivation, the four bowl barrows 330m west of Mattocks Down survive well, and all four barrows will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to their use and construction, and the surrounding landscape. These barrows form part of a dispersed group. Despite having been shortened and damaged by a lightning strike in its more recent history the standing stone and the socket into which it is located will also contain archaeological information. A further standing stone to the east is the subject of a separate scheduling.


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


This monument includes four bowl barrows and a standing stone situated in an elevated upland location overlooking the valleys of two tributaries to the River Yeo. All four barrows survive as circular mounds with encircling quarry ditches, from which material was derived during their construction. The mounds vary between 20.3m and 24.4m across and from 0.5m to 1.2m high. The ditches all survive as buried features from 3m to 5m wide. The standing stone is located on the south western edge of the central barrow and measures 1.5m long, 0.8m wide at the base and 2.5m high. A few scattered flints have been retrieved from the area surrounding these barrows and standing stone. The field boundary which crosses the monument is 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: 32216

Legacy System: RSM


Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SS56SW3, (1982)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SS64SW18, (1982)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SS64SW2, (1983)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SS64SW3, (1982)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SS64SW37, (1972)

End of official listing