This browser is not fully supported by Historic England. Please update your browser to the latest version so that you get the best from our website.

Four cairns on Hurley Beacon

List Entry Summary

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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Four cairns on Hurley Beacon

List entry Number: 1017218

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Somerset

District: West Somerset

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Crowcombe

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 23-Jun-1975

Date of most recent amendment: 17-May-2000

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 32184

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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

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 earthwork features are one of the key components of the Quantocks' broader landscape character. Round cairns are prehistoric funerary monuments dating to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They were constructed as earthen or rubble mounds, the latter predominating in areas of upland Britain where such raw materials were locally available in abundance. Round cairns may cover single or multiple burials and are sometimes surrounded by an outer ditch. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major visual element in the modern landscape. Their considerable variation in form and longevity as a monument type provide important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. Twelve round cairns have been recorded on the Quantocks, although the original figure is likely to have been higher. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.

The four cairns on Hurley Beacon survive well as a group, despite some disturbance of the Hurley Beacon cairn itself, possibly the result of antiquarian excavation, and will contain archaeological deposits and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed.

History

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

Details

The monument, which lies in two separate areas of protection, includes four Bronze Age cairns located on Hurley Beacon, a promontory in the western region of the Quantock Hills. Three of the cairns are close to each other on the summit of the hill and the fourth lies 130m downslope to the south west. The most impressive of the cairns is known as Hurley Beacon and, due to its prominent location, it is likely to have been the focus for other cairns in the area. The mound is approximately 2m high and 24m in diameter. The centre of the mound has been dug into leaving an irregular depression approximately 6m across and 1m deep. As its name suggests, the cairn has traditionally been used as a fire beacon. The mounds of the three other cairns range from between 5.5m to 8m in diameter and are an average of 0.5m in height. The cairn located to the south west of the main core has a shallow depression about 3m long and 2m wide adjacent to its north east side.

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.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of Somerset Archaelogical & Natural History Society' in Somerset Barrows, , Vol. 113 pt 1, (1969), 29
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of Somerset Archaelogical & Natural History Society' in Somerset Barrows, , Vol. 113 pt 1, (1969), 29
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of Somerset Archaelogical & Natural History Society' in Somerset Barrows, , Vol. 113 pt 1, (1969), 29
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of Somerset Archaelogical & Natural History Society' in Somerset Barrows, , Vol. 113 pt 1, (1969), 29
Other
33227, SCPD Quantock Hills AP survey, ST 1437,

National Grid Reference: ST 14112 37999, ST 14220 38081

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2017. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1017218 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 23-Nov-2017 at 02:53:23.

End of official listing