Three bowl barrows on Lympstone Common, 500m west of Fryingpans


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1020014

Date first listed: 28-Aug-2001


Ordnance survey map of Three bowl barrows on Lympstone Common, 500m west of Fryingpans
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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: Lympstone

National Grid Reference: SY 03165 85078


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 group of three bowl barrows on Lympstone Common survives well in association with a number of other recorded barrows in the vicinity. The barrows will retain archaeological information about the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed.


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


The monument includes three bowl barrows aligned almost exactly east-west and situated between 8m and 9m apart on Lympstone Common. The barrows lie on flat ground close to the 150m contour above the south facing slope of the common, which commands views down to the coast at Budleigh Salterton. A number of other barrows in the vicinity are the subject of separate schedulings. All three barrows have clear bowl-shaped profiles. The central barrow mound is 1.5m in height whilst the flanking barrow mounds are 2m in height. They vary in diameter between 7.7m and 8m. All have an associated and encircling ditch from which material would have been quarried for the construction of the mounds. The encircling quarry ditches vary in width between 1.4m and 2m. These ditches have become partly infilled over the millennia although they are all well defined as depressions surrounding their respective mounds and vary in depth between 0.2m and 0.65m. The easternmost barrow has a trench cut into its centre from the south, which may be the result of antiquarian activity. The barrows lie adjacent to the parish boundary between Lympstone and Woodbury, this boundary being defined at one stage by a low earthen bank. The barrows may have provided a clearly recognisable and already ancient reference point in the landscape at the time that the parish boundaries were defined in the early medieval period.

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: 33032

Legacy System: RSM


Hutchinson, P O, Diaries in Devon Record Office, 1872,

End of official listing