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Four round barrows on Soussons Down, 960m north west of Soussons

List Entry Summary

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.

Name: Four round barrows on Soussons Down, 960m north west of Soussons

List entry Number: 1021189


The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Devon

District: Teignbridge

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Manaton

National Park: DARTMOOR

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 14-Nov-1974

Date of most recent amendment: 08-Sep-2003

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 28696

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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

Reasons for Designation

Dartmoor is the largest expanse of open moorland in southern Britain and, because of exceptional conditions of preservation, it is also one of the most complete examples of an upland relict landscape in the whole country. The great wealth and diversity of archaeological remains provide direct evidence for human exploitation of the Moor from the early prehistoric period onwards. The well-preserved and often visible relationship between settlement sites, major land boundaries, trackways, ceremonial and funerary monuments as well as later industrial remains, gives significant insights into successive changes in the pattern of land use through time. Round cairns are prehistoric funerary monuments dating to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They were constructed as earthen or rubble mounds, the latter predominating in areas of upland Britain where such raw materials were locally available in abundance. Round cairns may cover single or multiple burials and are sometimes surrounded by an outer ditch. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major visual element in the modern landscape. Their considerable variation in form and longevity as a monument type 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. Dartmoor provides one of the best preserved and most dense concentrations of round cairns in south- western Britain.

Despite partial excavation and afforestation of the surrounding area, the four round barrows on Soussons Down, 960m north west of Soussons, survive well and contain archaeological and environmental information relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was built. The ridge location of the mounds combined with the substantial size of at least three of them, suggests that they may have also been significant early territorial markers. The partial excavation of two mounds indicates that they are unusually constructed mainly of earth, rather than of the stones found at most Dartmoor funerary mounds. The survival of abundant amounts of bone is particularly unusual on Dartmoor.


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


The monument includes four round barrows situated on a ridge separating the valleys of the East Dart and West Webburn Rivers. The northern barrow survives as flat topped 10m diameter mound standing up to 0.5m high. Next to this barrow is a substantial mound measuring 20m in diameter and 1m high. Two edge set stones on the south eastern side of the mound may represent the remains of a kerb which survives elsewhere as a buried feature. The next mound to the south is 14m in diameter and 1.4m high. This barrow was partially excavated in 1902 by the Dartmoor Exploration Committee, who found a flint arrowhead, two pieces of bronze and a central pit containing wood charcoal and burnt bone. A paved area beside the pit was also covered in bone and charcoal. The southern mound which measures 19.5m in diameter and stands up to 2.2m high was also partially excavated revealing charcoal, a flint flake and a circular cist containing burnt human bones and another flint flake. A single sherd of pottery and traces of a stone kerb were also recorded.

Both excavated barrows were composed largely of soil and all four may have been constructed in this way. Therefore, although no longer visible, quarry ditches from which this material was derived surround the mounds and survive as buried features with a maximum width of 4m.

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.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1991), 19
MPP Fieldwork by S. Gerrard, Gerrard, S., (1998)

National Grid Reference: SX 67700 79671


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This copy shows the entry on 26-Sep-2018 at 12:38:20.

End of official listing