Three bowl barrows in Big Plantation, 690m south west of Beechbarrow

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1020205

Date first listed: 19-Dec-1929

Date of most recent amendment: 24-Apr-2002

Map

Ordnance survey map of Three bowl barrows in Big Plantation, 690m south west of Beechbarrow
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Location

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Somerset

District: Mendip (District Authority)

Parish: St. Cuthbert Out

National Grid Reference: ST 56696 48511

Summary

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 disturbance caused by woodland cover and the likelihood of partial excavation in antiquity, the three bowl barrows in Big Plantation, 690m south west of Beechbarrow survive comparatively well and will contain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed.

History

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

Details

The monument includes three bowl barrows of prehistoric date located within Big Plantation on a south and east facing slope of Pen Hill at the eastern edge of the Mendip Hills. The three barrows are aligned from north east to south west. The mound of the northernmost barrow is approximately 0.75m high with an irregular plan 12m in diameter from north to south and 7m from east to west. The central and southernmost barrows are contiguous, each mound being a maximum of 0.6m in height. The mound of the central barrow is 13m from east to west and 15m from north to south whilst the mound of the southernmost barrow is 12m in diameter. In common with other bowl barrows in the area their mounds are surrounded by ditches from which material was quarried during their construction. Although these are no longer visible at ground level they will survive as buried features up to 2m wide. The central and southernmost mounds each have a hollow at the centre suggesting partial excavation of the mound in antiquity.

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.

Legacy

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 34862

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Grinsell, L, 'Proceedings of Somerset Archaeology and Natural History Society' in Somerset Barrows, , Vol. 115, (1971), 117
Grinsell, L, 'Proceedings of Somerset Archaeology and Natural History Society' in Somerset Barrows, , Vol. 115, (1971), 117
Grinsell, L, 'Proceedings of Somerset Archaeology and Natural History Society' in Somerset Barrows, , Vol. 115, (1971), 117
Tratman, E K, 'Proc Univ Bristol Spel Soc' in Fieldwork, (1938), 83
Tratman, E K, 'Proc Univ Bristol Spel Soc' in Fieldwork, (1938), 83

End of official listing