Historic Environment Record images

MSO7900 - Black Barrow

ENPHER Number:MSO7900
Name:Black Barrow
Type of Record:Monument
Grid Reference:SS 8320 4421

Please read the Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record caveat document.


A Bronze Age round barrow, 22 metres in diameter and 1.5 metres high, mentioned in a perambulation of Exmoor Forest in 1279. It has been damaged by the construction of a field wall which has used some of the barrow's fabric.


Black Barrow from the east, 2009  © Exmoor National Park Authority

Black Barrow from the east, 2009 © Exmoor National Park Authority

Black Barrow from the south, 2009  © Exmoor National Park Authority

Black Barrow from the south, 2009 © Exmoor National Park Authority

Black Barrow from the west, 2009  © Exmoor National Park Authority

Black Barrow from the west, 2009 © Exmoor National Park Authority

Monument Types

Designated Status

  • Scheduled Monument 1006205: Black Barrow


[SS 83214421] Black Barrow (NR) [1]

Black Barrow, round barrow, Scheduled. [2]

This is a large overgrown Cairn 1.7m high (Grinsell's Exmoor No 14). The corner of a modern field wall has been built across its centre, and this has caused considerable mutilation [12]. Surveyed at 1:2500. [3]

Exmoor 14. Black Barrow. It is gutted in the centre, north and west and the material probably used for the wall across its centre. Mentioned in a perambulation of Exmoor Forest in 1279. It is a bowl barrow, 22 paces in diameter and 6 feet high. It is on the boundary of Oare, Exmoor and Porlock parishes. It has been variously called Blakeborgh (1279), Blakebergure (1301), Blackborowe (1621) and Burrow (1782) amongst others. [4]

Centred at SS 8321 4421, it is a substantial, circular, earth and stone mound, now mutilated by a field wall. The barrow has panoramic views, especially in a westerly direction. It is 22 metres in diameter and 1.5 metres high. The barrow has been considerably damaged by a west-east field wall which approaches it from the west, and turns northwards at its centre. The wall has been created from the barrow fabric itself, whilst its flanking ditch has cut into the barrow. The result is that the southern arc of the barrow survives intact, and is probably the best preserved part. The north-western quadrant lies within the angle of the field wall and has been considerably reduced. The eastern arc tapers northwards to only 0.4 metres high, and has probably been robbed. No trace of a flanking ditch around the barrow or kerbing is visible. [5]

This was used as a boundary marker for the forest, as detailed during the reign of Henry III. [6, 14]

Prominent mound some 20 metres across and 1.5 metres high with an uneven top. At the junction of old parish boundary walls. [7]

A large Bronze Age barrow forming a corner of the 19th century enclosure of Outer Alscott. Black Barrow is a striking feature in this landscape and is mentioned is several perambulations of the boundaries of Exmoor Forest, from as early as 1279. [8]

In private ownership.[9]

The Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment of 2009 gave the site a survival score of 0. [13]

The site was surveyed in April 2015 as part of the 2015 Exmoor Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment. It was given a survival score of 0. [15]

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

<2> Scheduled Monument Notification , DOE (IAM) AMs Eng 2 1978 117 (Index). SMO4073.

<3> PITCHER, GHP, Field Investigators Comments, Ordnance Survey visit, 1 July 1965 (Unpublished document). SMO7319.

<4> Grinsell, L.V., 1969, Somerset Barrows. Part I: West and South, P. 16, 33 (Article in serial). SMO5467.

<5> Wilson-North, R., Field Investigators Comments, RCHME Field Investigation, 11 December 1995 (Unpublished document). SMO7329.

<6> MacDermot, E T, 1911, A History of Exmoor Forest, 181 (Monograph). SSO1302.

<7> Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission, Field Monument Warden Report (Report). SSO1247.

<8> Riley H, 2003, Mill Hill, Oare, Somerset (Report). SSO1889.

<9> Somerset County Council, Various, Somerset HER parish files - Exmoor records (Unpublished document). SSO1.

<10> Western Archaeological Trust, 1980s, Exmoor Aerial Photograph Survey, 8344 (Survey). SSO708.

<11> September 19, HSL.UK.71-178 Run 83, 8344 (Aerial photograph). SSO267.


<13> Bray, L.S., 2010, Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment 2009, Exmoor National Park (Report). SEM7402.

<14> Siraut, M., Royal Forest, Exmoor: A guide to the Royal Forest of Exmoor, 3 (Monograph). SEM7997.

<15> Gent, T. and Manning, P., 2015, Exmoor National Park Scheduled Monument Condition Survey 2015 (Report). SEM8278.

Other References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO10912
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO6859
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO7752
  • Local List Status (No)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 84 SW12
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 36234
  • Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 33051
Date Last Edited:Oct 27 2015 3:44PM


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