Round barrow cemetery known as Ritson Barrows, 420m north east of Stanborough Camp


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1020036

Date first listed: 16-Jan-1953

Date of most recent amendment: 09-Feb-2001


Ordnance survey map of Round barrow cemetery known as Ritson Barrows, 420m north east of Stanborough Camp
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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: Halwell and Moreleigh

National Grid Reference: SX 77501 52005


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 reduction by ploughing, the round barrow cemetery known as Ritson Barrows, 420m north east of Stanborough Camp is still largely visible. The barrows and their buried ditches contain archaeological and environmental information relating to their construction and use and the landscape in which they functioned. Their relationship with Stanborough Camp and a Norman motte and ringwork castle to the south, which are the subjects of separate schedulings, is also important.


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


This monument includes a round barrow cemetery of Late Neolithic to Bronze Age date. The site is on the northern edge of a level hilltop with wide views to the north and west. The cemetery contains at least 11 bowl barrows, clustered tightly together. Despite ploughing, many of them preserve their encircling ditches. Central depressions in two of them provide evidence for undocumented excavations in the past. The barrows vary between 12m and 30m in diameter, with most measuring from 20m to 30m in diameter. Most have evidence for an outer ditch, which varies in width from 4m to 7m, although one example is 10m wide. The modern road surfaces and fence posts are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them 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: 33767

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society' in The Barrows of South and East Devon, , Vol. 41, (1983), 37
MPP fieldwork by R Waterhouse, (1999)

End of official listing