Long mortuary enclosure and ring ditch 250m south west of Week Meadow Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1020071

Date first listed: 11-Dec-2001


Ordnance survey map of Long mortuary enclosure and ring ditch 250m south west of Week Meadow Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Devon

District: West Devon (District Authority)

Parish: North Tawton

National Grid Reference: SS 64969 01742


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

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.


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


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 features.

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: 34280

Legacy System: RSM


Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SS60SW47, (1992)

End of official listing