Round barrow cemetery 920m south west of Higher Welsford


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


Ordnance survey map of Round barrow cemetery 920m south west of Higher Welsford
© 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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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Torridge (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SS 26882 20805, SS 26948 20952, SS 27028 21159

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.

The round barrow cemetery 920m south west of Higher Welsford survives comparatively well despite reduction in the heights of the mounds through cultivation, and will contain archaeological evidence relating to the construction and use of the monument as well as environmental evidence concerning the surrounding landscape. The close proximity of other monuments including bowl barrows and a ring cairn gives an indication of the significance of this area in the later prehistoric period.


This monument, which falls into three areas, includes a round barrow cemetery situated on a high upland ridge known as Welsford Moor, overlooking the valley of a tributary to Seckington Water. The monument survives as a group of five bowl barrows arranged in two pairs with a single outlier. The barrows survive as circular mounds of varying size with their approximately 3m wide surrounding outer quarry ditches being preserved as buried features. Within the southernmost pair, the western mound measures 24m in diameter and 0.5m high; and the eastern mound measures 29.7m in diameter and 0.8m high. This barrow's ditch is crossed by a ditched field boundary with stock proof fences. Within the central pair, the western mound measures 16.5m in diameter and 0.4m high, and the eastern mound measures 28.3m in diameter and 1m high. The northernmost mound measures 20m in diameter and 0.4m high. A further bowl barrow lies to the north east, and another bowl barrow and ring cairn to the east; these are the subject of separate schedulings. The field boundary and stock proof fences which cross one of the southern pair of barrows are 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. 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, SS22SE10, (1987)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SS22SE11, (1987)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SS22SE12, (1987)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SS22SE21, (1982)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SS22SE24, (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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