Two bowl barrows at Big Wood, 580m south west and 470m south of Moorland Cottage
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1017949
Date first listed: 09-Oct-1981
Date of most recent amendment: 23-Apr-1998
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: East Devon (District Authority)
National Grid Reference: SY 02520 84251, SY 02908 84220
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
The two bowl barrows in Big Wood are well preserved examples of their class of monument, set in a commanding position overlooking the Exe estuary. They are unusually high and will retain many of their original features providing information about the barrows and the landscape in which they were constructed.
The monument, which falls into two areas, includes two Bronze Age bowl barrows
situated about 400m apart in Big Wood just south of Lympestone Common. The
barrows lie near the crest of a spur on its south facing slope overlooking the
estuary and the mouth of the River Exe.
The westernmost barrow is 6m high and 16m in diameter with a rather conical
and steep sided profile but flat-topped. It has a matrix of stony red soil
with no trace of a surrounding quarry ditch. The other barrow further to the
east and opposite Wright's Lane is of similar appearance but is 8m high and
20m in diameter.
All fencing is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these
features is included.
MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: 29643
Legacy System: RSM
Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society' in The Barrows of South and East Devon, (1983), 32
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society' in The Barrows of South and East Devon, (1983)
Fox, A, (1950)
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