Two bowl barrows at Beacon Hill, 120m south of The Beacon


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1020164

Date first listed: 30-Aug-1922

Date of most recent amendment: 24-Apr-2002


Ordnance survey map of Two bowl barrows at Beacon Hill, 120m south of The Beacon
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Torbay (Unitary Authority)

County: Devon

District: South Hams (District Authority)

Parish: Marldon

National Grid Reference: SX 85771 62033


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.

Despite some damage, the two bowl barrows at Beacon Hill, 120m south of TheBeacon survive well, and their mounds and buried ditches will preserve stratified remains relating to the monument's construction and use. The western barrow is likely to contain an undisturbed central burial.


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


This monument includes two Late Neolithic to Early Bronze Age bowl barrows, on an east to west alignment, on the crest of a broad ridge, with extensive views in all directions. The western of the two barrows survives as an earth mound 40m in diameter and surviving up to 1m high. There is no visible quarry ditch, though this will survive as a 5m wide buried feature. The eastern barrow is 30m in diameter and 1.5m high with a flat top and an outer ditch 5m wide and 0.2m deep, visible on the east side. A slight upcast bank is 2m wide and 0.1m high. When partially excavated in 1882, an Early Bronze Age urn was found, decorated with dotted lines, containing the burnt bones of a child. The urn was inverted in a rough stone chamber and covered with stones, then earth. The barrow was reduced in size prior to 1882 at which time a ring of stones around it was discovered, but subsequently removed. Flint chips and flakes have been found around the barrow in the past. Signs of burning found in 1882 relate to the barrow's post-medieval use as a beacon mound. A fire is recorded as having been lit here in 1897 to celebrate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. The fence posts, modern buildings and a radio mast 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: 33798

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), 39
MPP fieldwork by R Waterhouse, Waterhouse, R, (2000)
SMR, SMR, (1986)

End of official listing