Long mortuary enclosure and ring ditch 250m south west of Week Meadow Farm
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
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This copy shows the entry on 24-Oct-2019 at 06:14:34.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- West Devon (District Authority)
- North Tawton
- National Grid Reference:
- SS 64969 01742
Reasons for Designation
Long mortuary enclosures are oblong-shaped enclosures up to 150m in length,
surrounded by narrow, fairly straight ditches with slightly rounded corners,
containing an open space edged by a perimeter bank set within the ditch.
Characteristically there are two or more major causeways across the ditch
which served as entrances. Most long mortuary enclosures are orientated
within 45 degrees of an east-west alignment. Long mortuary enclosures are
generally associated with human burials dated to the Early and Middle
Neolithic periods (c.3200-2500 BC). There are approximately 35 examples
recorded in England. The greatest concentration lies in Essex and Suffolk,
but there are also examples along the Thames and in Warwickshire along the
Avon; two isolated examples have been recorded in Northumberland. Long
mortuary enclosures are very rare nationally and all surviving examples are
considered worthy of protection.
A ring ditch is the levelled remains of a prehistoric round barrow, normally of Late Neolithic to Late Bronze Age date (2400-1500 BC). These were originally constructed as earthen or rubble mounds covering single or multiple burials with an encircling ditch. Despite ploughing, cut features such as the quarry ditch and central burial are likely to survive. Despite reduction in the heights of these earthworks through cultivation, the long mortuary enclosure and ring ditch 220m south of Shoalhill Cross will contain both archaeological and environmental information relating to the monument and its surrounding landscape.
This monument includes the cropmarks of a long mortuary enclosure and ring
ditch situated on an upland ridge overlooking the valley of the River Taw.
The mortuary enclosure consists of an elongated cigar shaped feature measuring
up to approximately 70m long by 19m wide, being defined by an outer ditch.
The ring ditch is immediately adjacent to this and measures up to
approximately 35m in diameter including its outer ditch. Both features are
clearly recognisable as cropmarks from the air, and are preserved as buried
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, SS60SW47, (1992)
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