Site Event/Activity record EEM14672 - 2013: MS - Burnt mound, Spooners, Mires Project



University of Brighton


April 2013


A gradiometer survey was undertaken at Spooners in April 2013 after field walkover survey had identified some possible archaeological remains. The earthwork morphology and landscape location indicated the possibility that these remains were a burnt mound and as such would represent the second burnt mound so far discovered on Exmoor. The earthwork morphology combined with the gradiometer data clearly indicates a burnt mound structure. Burnt mounds have features that enable their relatively easy classification as field monuments: they are nearly always horseshoe or ‘u’ shaped and they are found close to water. On excavation, they are found to be composed mainly of burnt stones and within the arc of the ‘u’ shape there tends to be a pit or ‘trough’ lined with timber or clay. Nearby is often found a hearth. Such structures are generally Bronze Age in date and occur within liminal areas, possible at territory edges. The form of the interpreted data indicates a raised area of burnt deposits, possibly with two mounds and a trough, where water heating was occurring using burnt stones. The highly magnetic contrast of the monument can be accounted for by the process of placing hot stones in a water-filled trough which then rapidly cool and then these stones are redeposited creating a remnant magnetism. The presence of possible distinct features within the burnt mount adds a further dimension to the data and could act as a focus for future work. The incision of the extant springlines add a further dimension to the data, potentially indicating that the burnt mound may be located on a significant Holocene sediment sequence. Whilst this requires further investigation, the provisional dating of the monument as Bronze Age burnt mound, indicates the possibility of a significant early Holocene deposits.

Sources/Archives (1)

  • <1> Report: Carey, C.. 2016. Spooners, Wintershead, Exmoor: Gradiometer Survey.



Location Spooners, Exmoor, Somerset
Grid reference Centred SS 7790 3739 (36m by 32m) (Surveyed)
Map sheet SS73NE

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

  • Prehistoric burnt mound on Spooners (Monument)

Parent/preceding Site Events/Activities (1)

  • 2012: WS - Spooners, Mires Project

Child/subsequent Site Events/Activities (1)

  • 2014: TS - Spooners Allotment, Exmoor Forest

Record last edited

Mar 14 2017 2:47PM