Round barrow 720m NNW of Spire Cross

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1021229

Date first listed: 06-Oct-2003

Map

Ordnance survey map of Round barrow 720m NNW of Spire Cross
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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: Winsford

National Park: EXMOOR

National Grid Reference: SS 88639 34246

Summary

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

Reasons for Designation

Round barrows 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 mounds, sometimes ditched, which covered single or multiple burials. They occur either in isolation or grouped as cemeteries and often acted as a focus of 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 examples recorded nationally (many more have already been destroyed), occurring across most of Britain, including the Wessex area where it is often possible to classify them more closely, for example as bowl or bell barrows. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape and their considerable variation in 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 damage, probably in antiquity, the round barrow 700m north west of Spire Cross survives comparatively well. It will contain environmental evidence and archaeological deposits relating both to the monument and the wider landscape in which it was constructed. In addition, it forms one of a number of prehistoric burial mounds which occupy prominent positions along the summit of the Winsford Hill massif which forms part of the southern escarpment of Exmoor.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a round barrow of prehistoric date located on the north eastern side of Winsford Hill. The barrow is situated on high, level ground which forms the summit of the hill overlooking the Exe Valley to the north. The original profile of the barrow's mound has been modified, probably in antiquity, and it survives as a circular, earth-covered stone platform 15.5m in diameter and 0.5m high, the interior of which has been disturbed with the mound material having been placed around its outer edge forming an irregular rim with a maximum height of 1m. At a later date a shallow, kidney-shaped pit, 3.5m by 2.7m and 0.4m deep, has been dug into the centre of the platform; again this is believed to relate to ancient activity.



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: 35714

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of Somerset Archaelogical & Natural History Society' in Somerset Barrows, , Vol. 113, (1969), 42
Other
National Monuments Record, 1997, SS 83 SE 8

End of official listing