Historic Environment Record images

MSO7397 - Joaney How Burial Cairn, Dunkery Hill

ENPHER Number:MSO7397
Name:Joaney How Burial Cairn, Dunkery Hill
Type of Record:Monument
Grid Reference:SS 9081 4278

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A large Bronze Age burial cairn on the north slope of Dunkery Hill, visible as a circular stony, mound measuring 22 metres in diameter and 1.8 metres high. It is much disturbed and surmounted by a modern stone heap.


Robin How and Joaney How Burial Cairns. 2006  © Exmoor National Park Authority

Robin How and Joaney How Burial Cairns. 2006 © Exmoor National Park Authority

Monument Types

  • ROUND CAIRN (Bronze Age - 2500 BC to 701 BC (Unclassified))

Designated Status

  • Scheduled Monument 1020930: Round cairn cemetery on Dunkery Hill


Joaney How is marked at SS 9082 4278 on the 1962 Ordnance Survey map. [1]

Joaney How (Beacon) is marked at SS 9082 4278 on the Second Edition Ordnance Survey map. [2]

A cairn or beacon is known as "Joaney How" or [3] "Yonney How" on Luccombe Hill. It is a structure of piled stones much mutilated and having several depressions with ridges between. The surface stones are very loose as if moved in recent times. On the top is a roughly conical pile of stones, wide at the bottom, and about 3 feet in height, again, possibly rebuilt after destruction. The diameter of the exposed stones is about 62 feet. [4]

The cairn is scheduled under Burial Mounds. [5]

This is a disturbed cairn 1.7 metres high. Grinsell lists it as Luccombe No. 4; and although he records a "partly visible" ditch no certain traces can be identified. It was resurveyed at 1:2500. [7]

Luccombe 4, Joaney How, is a mutilated cairn 27 paces in diameter and 5 feet high, surmounted by a modern stone heap. The ditch is partly visible. It was visited by Grinsell at Whitsun 1958. Joaney How and Robin How (MSO6251) were shown as Luckham Barrows on the 1809 Ordnance Survey map, and as Luccombe Barrows on the map by W. C. Cox 1829 and in Savage [8]. The earliest appearance of Robin and Joaney How on the maps appears to be on the First Edition Ordnance Survey map of 1889 [2]. Together with Robin How barrow (MSO6251) they may enshrine a tradition of Little John and Robin Hood. [9]

Joaney How, Robin How (MSO6251) and the adjacent cairns are scheduled. [10]

A large cairn, known as Joaney How, lies on the edge of a natural terrace in a false crest position on the northern slope of Dunkery Hill at SS 90813 42789. It comprises a circular stony mound, enclosed by a heather covered ring, 22 metres in diameter and 1.8 metres high. The stony mound is flat topped. The evidence for this being the site of a beacon comes from the First Edition Ordnance Survey map (2), there is no other evidence that this was the case. The cairn was surveyed using differential GPS as part of the RCHME Exmoor Project. [11-13]

The round cairn known as Joaney How is part of a round cairn cemetery on Dunkery Hill. It is traditionally thought to be named after Little John. The scheduling has been revised with a new national number (was Somerset 51) to include wider area and additional cairns. [14]

There are exposed stones with many scattered - this cairn is in the worst condition of the group on the hill. [15]

There is no change to its condition. Scheduled as Ancient Monument 51a. [16]

The cairn known as Joaney How has been transcribed as earthworks from aerial photographs as part of the Exmoor National Mapping Programme survey. The cairn appears to be circa 24 metres in diameter and centred on circa SS 90814279. It is one of eight cairns recorded as part of the survey in this area, although more are present but not visible on the aerial photographs available. [21-24]

The Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment of 2009 gave the site a survival score of 3. [25]

The site was surveyed in April 2015 as part of the 2015 Exmoor Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment. It was given a survival score of 3. [26]

<1> Ordnance Survey, 1962, 6 Inch Map: 1962 (Map). SEM7220.

<2> Ordnance Survey, 1868-1901, County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map, Somerset 34(14) (Map). SEM6703.

<3> Page, W. (editor), 1911, The Victoria History of the County of Somerset, P.532 (Monograph). SMO5358.

<4> Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society, 1851-, Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society, Volume 78 (1932), 124-125 (Serial). SMO4109.

<5> English Heritage, 1913-, Schedule of Monuments, List of Ancient Monuments of England and Wales 1961, 81 (Index). SSO410.

<6> Grinsell, L.V., 1969, Somerset Barrows, Part 1: West and South (Article in serial). SEM7674.

<7> PITCHER, GHP, Field Investigators Comments, Ordnance Survey visit, 15 June 1965 (Unpublished document). SMO7319.

<8> Savage, J., 1830, A History of the Hundred of Carhampton (Monograph). SSO1909.

<9> Grinsell, L.V., 1969, Somerset Barrows. Part I: West and South, P.14,15,17-19,25,35 (Article in serial). SMO5467.

<10> Scheduled Monument Notification , Department of the Environment. Ancient Monuments of England 2, 1978, 117 (Index). SMO4073.

<11> Riley, H., Field Investigators Comments, RCHME Field Investigation, 6 March 1997 (Unpublished document). SMO7322.

<12> Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, Exmoor Project (Collection). SMO5831.

<13> RCHME, Exmoor Survey, NMR site SS 94 SW 3. 1997 (Survey). SSO1864.

<14> Scheduled Monument Notification , English Heritage Scheduling amendment, 23 April 2003 (Index). SMO4073.

<15> SMR file 33666 (Unassigned). SSO504.

<16> Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission, Field Monument Warden Report (Report). SSO1247.

<17> Western Archaeological Trust, 1980s, Exmoor Aerial Photograph Survey, 9042 (Survey). SSO708.

<18> Gray, H.St.G., 1932, Rude stone monuments of Exmoor (Somerset Portion): Part IV, 124-5 (Article in serial). SSO1200.

<19> Grinsell, L.V., 1976, Untitled Source, 100 (Unassigned). SSO1228.

<20> Various, Various, Oblique Aerial Photograph, HSL.UK.71-177 Run 91, 8686 (September 1971) (Aerial photograph). SMO4069.

<21> 2007-2009, Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 94 SW (Archive). SMO7569.

<22> Royal Air Force, 1946 -1948, Vertical Aerial Photography, RAF CPE/UK/1980 (F20) 3177-8, 4299 (11 April 1947) (Aerial photograph). SEM6707.

<23> Various, Various, Vertical Aerial Photograph, NMR OS/70380 172-3 (23 September 1970) (Aerial photograph). SMO4068.

<24> Various, Various, Oblique Aerial Photograph, NMR SS 9142/23 (23827/09) (19 February 2005) (Aerial photograph). SMO4069.

<25> Bray, L.S., 2010, Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment 2009, Exmoor National Park (Report). SEM7402.

<26> Gent, T. and Manning, P., 2015, Exmoor National Park Scheduled Monument Condition Survey 2015 (Report). SEM8278.

Related Pages

Other References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO230
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO11311
  • Local List Status (No)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 94 SW3
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • National Trust HER Record
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 36963
  • Scheduled Monument (County Number): 51
  • Site of Special Scientific Interest
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 33666
Date Last Edited:Jan 27 2016 2:18PM


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