The Devil's Bed and Bolster long barrow


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017897

Date first listed: 18-Oct-1976

Date of most recent amendment: 23-Dec-1997


Ordnance survey map of The Devil's Bed and Bolster long barrow
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Somerset

District: Mendip (District Authority)

Parish: Beckington

National Grid Reference: ST 81495 53333


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

Reasons for Designation

Long barrows were constructed as earthen or drystone mounds with flanking ditches and acted as funerary monuments during the Early and Middle Neolithic periods (3400-2400 BC). They represent the burial places of Britain's early farming communities and, as such, are amongst the oldest field monuments surviving visibly in the present landscape. Where investigated, long barrows appear to have been used for communal burial, often with only parts of the human remains having been selected for interment. Certain sites provide evidence for several phases of funerary monument preceding the barrow and, consequently, it is probable that long barrows acted as important ritual sites for local communities over a considerable period of time. Some 500 examples of long barrows and long cairns, their counterparts in the uplands, are recorded nationally. As one of the few types of Neolithic structure to survive as earthworks, and due to their comparative rarity, their considerable age and their longevity as a monument type, all long barrows are considered to be nationally important.

Although the Devil's Bed and Bolster long barrow has been eroded and disturbed in the past, it will include archaeological remains containing information about Neolithic beliefs, economy and environment.


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


The monument includes a long barrow situated on a slight east-west ridge at Mount Pleasant on the northern boundary of the parish of Beckington. The barrow is orientated east-west and has a mound approximately 35m long with a maximum width of 21m. Although no longer visible on the surface, side ditches flank either side of the mound and survive as buried features approximately 3m wide. The west end of the mound is under cultivation and survives as a low rise approximately 0.3m high that gradually merges with the natural ridge. The east end survives as a heavily disturbed mound up to 1m high within an area of mature trees. Along the central axis of this end of the mound are a number of large stones, both upright and recumbent and it has been suggested that these may have formed parts of a central passage and side chambers.

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: 29782

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Bullied, A, 'PSANHS' in Chambered Long Barrows of North Somerset, (1942), 68-69
Bullied, A, 'PSANHS' in Chambered Long Barrows of North Somerset, (1942), 68-69

End of official listing