Four barrows 470m south west of Hope Cove, forming part of a round barrow cemetery


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019785

Date first listed: 09-May-2001


Ordnance survey map of Four barrows 470m south west of Hope Cove, forming part of a round barrow cemetery
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Devon

District: South Hams (District Authority)

Parish: South Huish

National Grid Reference: SX 67192 39352


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

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 some damage and robbing for stone, the three bowl barrows and one bell barrow 470m south west of Hope Cove represent an important group in an area where cemeteries are rare. Their prominent position is notable and the bell barrow is a rare type, both in the area and nationally. The barrows will contain archaeological and environmental evidence for their construction and use as well as the contemporary landscape.


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


This monument includes three bowl barrows and one bell barrow of Late Neolithic to Early Bronze Age date, on the crest of a rocky promontory 83m high, jutting out into the English Channel. The remaining barrows within the cemetery and an Iron Age hillfort at Bolt Tail Camp to the west are the subject of separate schedulings. The barrows are closely spaced with their outer ditches touching one another. The bell barrow lies on the north side of the group. This survives as a central cairn of small stones 32m in diameter and up to 1m high; a surrounding berm is between 4m and 11m wide and falls up to 0.7m into the encircling ditch which is 7m wide and from 0.2m to 0.4m deep. The outer ditch and berm have been disturbed on the south west side by the construction of a bowl barrow, comprising a mound of small stones and earth, 26m in diameter and surviving up to 1m high with an encircling ditch 5m wide and up to 0.2m deep. To the south, its outer ditch touches that of a second bowl barrow, whose stony mound is 20m in diameter, surviving up to 0.5m high. This has been robbed and its surface is uneven as a result. A third bowl barrow lies a short distance to the east. This is larger, having an earthen mound 36m in diameter, surviving up to 1.5m high. Its surrounding ditch is 7m wide and up to 0.2m deep. An upcast bank 8m wide survives up to 0.7m high on its east side and touches the outer ditch of the bell barrow to its north.

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: 33771

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Worth, R N, 'Transactions of the Devonshire Association' in 7th Report of the Barrow Committee, , Vol. 17, (1885), 128
Worth, R N, 'Transactions of the Devonshire Association' in Report of the Barrow Committee, , Vol. 17, (1885), 128
MPP fieldwork by R Waterhouse, Waterhouse, R, (1999)

End of official listing