Cairn on Bossington Hill, 1.12 km north east of Lynch Mead

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1020795

Date first listed: 03-Sep-2002

Map

Ordnance survey map of Cairn on Bossington Hill, 1.12 km north east of Lynch Mead
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Location

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

County: Somerset

District: West Somerset (District Authority)

Parish: Minehead Without

National Park: EXMOOR

National Grid Reference: SS 90839 48625

Summary

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

Reasons for Designation

Exmoor is the most easterly of the three main upland areas in the south western peninsula of England. In contrast to the other two areas, Dartmoor and Bodmin Moor, there has been no history of antiquarian research and little excavation of Exmoor monuments. However, survey work has confirmed a comparable richness of archaeological remains, with evidence of human exploitation and occupation from the Mesolithic period to the present day. Many of the field monuments surviving on Exmoor date from the later prehistoric period, examples including stone settings, stone alignments, standing stones, and burial mounds (barrows or cairns). Round cairns are funerary monuments dating from the Late Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age, with most examples belonging to the period 2400-1500BC. They were constructed as rubble mounds 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. Over 370 barrows or cairns, varying in diameter from 2m to 35m, have been recorded on Exmoor, with many of these found on or close to the summits of the three east-west ridges which cross the moor - the southern escarpment, the central ridge, and the northern ridge. Individual cairns and groups may also be found on lower lying ground and hillslopes. Those which occupy prominent locations form a major visual element in the modern landscape. Their longevity as a monument type can provide important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.



Despite part of the stone fabric of the mound having been removed in antiquity, the cairn on Bossington Hill, 1.12km north east of Lynch Mead survives comparatively well and will contain archaeological deposits and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed. It forms a visual element in the open moorland being located close to the South West Coast Path.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a prehistoric cairn located on Bossington Hill, a steep coastal slope located between Minehead to the east and Porlock Bay to the west. The cairn is situated in an isolated position on open moorland on a north eastern slope of the hill, which overlooks the Bristol Channel. The cairn is formed by a near-circular stone mound with a diameter of 12m and a maximum height of 0.9m. The stone fabric of the cairn has been exposed in a depression of approximately 4m by 1.5m located at the centre of the mound and it is likely that the cairn was robbed of stone in antiquity to provide material for the construction of field banks.

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: 35328

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of Somerset Archaelogical & Natural History Society' in Somerset Barrows, , Vol. 113 pt 1, (1969), 36
Other
SS 94 NW 23, National Monuments Register,

End of official listing