Four bowl barrows 110m and 360m west of Wrangworthy Cross forming part of a round barrow cemetery


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


Ordnance survey map of Four bowl barrows 110m and 360m west of Wrangworthy Cross forming part of a round barrow cemetery
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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This copy shows the entry on 12-Nov-2019 at 16:53:53.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Torridge (District Authority)
East Putford
National Grid Reference:
SS 38137 17501, SS 38399 17476

Reasons for Designation

Round barrow cemeteries date to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They comprise closely-spaced groups of up to 30 round barrows - rubble or earthen mounds covering single or multiple burials. Most cemeteries developed over a considerable period of time, often many centuries, and in some cases acted as a focus for burials as late as the early medieval period. They exhibit considerable diversity of burial rite, plan and form, frequently including several different types of round barrow, occasionally associated with earlier long barrows. Where large scale investigation has been undertaken around them, contemporary or later "flat" burials between the barrow mounds have often been revealed. Round barrow cemeteries occur across most of lowland Britain, with a marked concentration in Wessex. In some cases, they are clustered around other important contemporary monuments such as henges. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape, whilst their diversity and their longevity as a monument type provide important information on the variety of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving or partly-surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.

Despite reduction in their height through excavation, the four bowl barrows at Wrangworthy Cross survive well and form part of a well preserved and extensive round barrow cemetery in a prominent ridge top location. Archaeological and environmental information relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed is known from excavation to survive in and under these mounds.


This monument, which falls into two areas of protection, includes four bowl barrows on a high upland ridge overlooking the valley of a tributary to the River Torridge. These four barrows form part of a larger cemetery which lies along this ridge. The other clusters lie to the north east, north west, west and south and are the subject of separate schedulings. Three of the barrows in this monument form a NNE-SSW alignment on its eastern side; the fourth barrow is situated to the west. The north eastern barrow in the alignment survives as a circular mound which measures 35.5m in diameter and 0.9m high. The surrounding quarry ditch is visible to the west, south and east and measures 3.1m wide and 0.1m deep. To the south west, a second circular mound measuring 25.8m in diameter and up to 1.6m high is surrounded by a 4.5m wide and 0.2m deep ditch. This barrow was partly excavated in 1934 revealing a central primary interment lying within a partly gabled log structure denoted by posts at each corner. Artefacts from the vicinity of the burial included a wooden pole, a bronze dagger and a flint blade. Further south west the third circular mound measures 20.2m in diameter and is up to 0.6m high. The surrounding quarry ditch is preserved as a buried feature. This ditch is in turn partly cut on the south east by a ditched field boundary. This barrow was also partly excavated in 1934 revealing a mortuary chamber. The westernmost barrow survives as a circular mound 29.6m in diameter and up to 1.1m high. Its surrounding quarry ditch is also preserved as a buried feature.

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:
Legacy System:


Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SS31NE10, (1987)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SS31NE11, (1982)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SS31NE3, (1987)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SS31NE35, (1982)


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

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