Two bowl barrows on Woodbury Common, both 330m east of Four Firs


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018050

Date first listed: 10-Aug-1923

Date of most recent amendment: 18-Sep-1998


Ordnance survey map of Two bowl barrows on Woodbury Common, both 330m east of Four Firs
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Devon

District: East Devon (District Authority)

Parish: Woodbury

National Grid Reference: SY 03442 86459, SY 03444 86421


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.

The two bowl barrows on Woodbury Common survive well in association with a number of other recorded barrows in the vicinity. Both barrows will retain archaeological information about their construction and the region in which they were set, and both have evidence for their modification as part of post- medieval landscaping of this area.


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


The monument, which falls into two separate areas, includes two Bronze Age bowl barrows aligned north - south and situated about 40m apart on Woodbury Common. The barrows lie on relatively flat ground on the south facing part of the common on either side of the B3179 Yettington to Woodbury road. Both barrows have clear bowl-shaped profiles varying in height between 2m for the northern barrow to 2.5m for the southern. Both barrow mounds have a diameter of 14m and both are surrounded by quarry ditches. The northern barrow has an encircling ditch 2.5m wide and 0.5m deep whilst the southern has an encircling ditch 1.9m wide and 0.4m deep. Both mounds are surrounded at a further distance by a bank, and an outer ditch of perhaps more recent construction thought to be part of a landscaping modification of the late 18th or early 19th century, which are not included in the scheduling.

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: 29651

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Southwell, C, An Archaeological Survey of Woodbury Common, (1980)
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society' in The Barrows of South and East Devon, , Vol. 41, (1983), 45
Tyler, F C, 'Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries' in Mounds on Woodbury Common, , Vol. 16, (1931), 340
Probert, S A J, RCHME Field Investigation, (1990)

End of official listing