Bowl barrow 780m ESE of the fire tower on Monkham Hill
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
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This copy shows the entry on 21-Oct-2019 at 23:52:19.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- West Somerset (District Authority)
- National Park:
- National Grid Reference:
- SS 99357 39016
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 others, Dartmoor and
Bodmin Moor, there has been no history of antiquarian research and little
excavation of its monuments. However, detailed survey work by the Royal
Commission on the Historical Monuments of England 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 include stone settings, stone alignments,
standing stones, and burial mounds (`barrows'). Bowl barrows, the most
numerous form of round barrow, are funerary monuments dating to the Late
Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age, with most examples belonging to
the period 2400-1500BC. 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. Over 370 bowl barrows, varying in diameter
from 2m to 35m, have been recorded on Exmoor. Many of these are 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 -
whilst individual barrows 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 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
Despite the central part of the mound having been disturbed by limited forestry activity, the bowl barrow 780m ESE of the fire tower on Monkham Hill survives comparatively well. It will contain environmental evidence and archaeological deposits relating to the monument and the wider landscape in which it was constructed. Additionally, it forms one of several burial mounds which occupy prominent positions along the central ridge of Exmoor and, being constructed largely of quartz-stone it would have been a striking visual element in the prehistoric landscape.
The monument includes a bowl barrow located on the east side of Monkham
Hill at the eastern end of an east-west ridge across Exmoor. The barrow
occupies a prominent position just below the crest of the hill on a south
and east-facing slope with panoramic views north over the Bristol Channel
to Wales, east to the Quantocks Hills and south to the Brendon Hills. The
barrow, which is of prehistoric date, is formed by a circular, bowl-shaped
mound of earth and stone up to 0.75m high and 13.2m in diameter. In
keeping with other barrows of similar construction in the region the mound
will be surrounded by a ditch from which material was quarried during its
construction. Although the ditch is no longer clearly visible at ground
level it will survive as a buried feature up to 2m wide, giving the barrow
an overall diameter of 17.2m.
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:
- Legacy System:
Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of Somerset Archaelogical & Natural History Society' in Somerset Barrows, , Vol. 113, (1969), 35
SS 93 NE 2, National Monuments Record,
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.
End of official listing