MDE1065 - Bronze Age barrow south of Brockenbarrow Farm (Monument)


The remains of a Bronze Age barrow are visible as a flat topped turf covered mound. It has been partly obliterated on the east and north by a sunken lane and the building of a modern house. Summary from record MDE20182: Vis=29/6/1972 (ancient monuments) barrow west of brockenburrow lane. An amorphous mound, levelled and spread by ploughing: probably originally about 18m in diameter, height at present 1.0 - 1.2m. Where cut by hedge, stones visible in field. Greatest diameter 36.6m. Needs protection because a new farmhouse and garden is to be built near it. Summary from record MMO35: The remains of a Bronze Age barrow at Brockenbarrow Farm, Challacombe. It is visible as a flat-topped turf-covered mound measuring 26 metres in diameter and 1 metre high. The feature has been partly obliterated on the east and north by a sunken land and the building of a modern house.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

SS 6654 4173 A grass covered mound, 30 paces in diameter and 2 feet high, with several large stones on or near. It is uncertain as to whether this is a barrow. Visited by C Whybrow and Grinsell on 2 April 1961. [1] SS 665 418 Probable barrow; possibly the original Brocken Barrow (but see MDE1066 - this refers to a Holy Well in Parracombe, unsure if correct [11]). It must have been about 60 feet in diameter but has been ploughed down to a height of 3 feet and spread to over 100 feet. It is very amorphous but there are stones in the west bank of Brockenbarrow Lane where it cuts the barrow.Visited with C Whybrow, 1 May 1972. [2] SS 6653 4171 A circular mound of earth and stone 26.0 metres diameter and up to 1.0 metres high, in fallow ground sloping to the South is probably a round barrow. A portion of the east side has been destroyed by a lane, but the centre appears to be intact. Surveyed at 1:2500. [3] A turf covered barrow centred at SS 6653 4171 lying in improved pasture. The feature has been obliterated on the east and north by the construction of a sunken lane and a modern house respectively. All that survives, therefore, is the southwestern quadrant of the mound. It measures 27 metres east to west by 35 metres north to south. It is defined by a spread curving scarp 0.8 metres high on the south, and 0.6 metres on the west where it is particularly elongated. It is truncated at a hedge bank on the east side and a fence on the north. The mound itself, which is fairly flat topped but uneven, has been disturbed by access into the field from its northeatern corner, in the form of a track running southwest across the mound. The base of the scarp has also been sharpened up on the southern side by a recent ploughing edge. Other less interpretable episodes have disturbed the top of the mound and are visible as slight hollows and irregularities. Another feature of the mound are a number of earthfast stones on its southern crest and slope. These do not appear to form any constructional feature of the barrow, but equally do not appear to have been deposited there recently ([1] mentions "several large stones on or near" the barrow). [4] The barrow is visible on aerial photographs, including some which were taken prior to the construction of Brockenbarrow Farm. On this photograph it appears substantially smaller than described, approximately 20 metres in diameter, but cut by the lane in the east. It seems likely that the majority of the damage was caused by the construction of the modern dwelling. [5,6] A barrow west of Brockenburrow Lane. An amorphous mound, levelled and spread by ploughing: probably originally about 18 meters in diameter, height at present 1.0 - 1.2 meters. Where the barrow has been cut by a hedge stones are visible in the field. Greatest diameter 36.6 metres. Needs protection because a new farmhouse and garden is to be built near it. [7] The barrow can be seen from the footpath which runs along the track on the eastern side. The massive hedge on the west of the track appears to kink out to respect barrow, which has an amorphous shape. Under grass and covered in part with gorse. Limits of barrow hard to discern, but on the north it seems to extend into the garden of the house which was granted planning permission in 1972. The dimensions given by Grinsell are reasonable. No access gained to site. [8] The bulk of the barrow is still visible, but it is clear that it was severely affected by the construction of the access to the new house. Probably still reasonable survival of much of the barrow's structure, but it has sustained much damage despite being 'protected'. [9] The Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment of 2009 gave the site a survival score of 4. [12] The site was surveyed in June 2015 as part of the 2015 Exmoor Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment. It was given a survival score of 0. [13] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [14]

Sources/Archives (14)

  • <1> Article in serial: Grinsell, L.V.. 1970. The Barrows of North Devon. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 28. P. 113.
  • <2> Unpublished document: Fox, A.. 1972. Letter. 2 May 1972.
  • <3> Unpublished document: BUCKLEY, MHB. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, 22 August 1972.
  • <4> Unpublished document: Wilson-North, R.. Various. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 20 July 1993.
  • <5> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF 543/2821 (F65) 187-88 (27 April 1964).
  • <6>XY Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 64 SE. MD002181. [Mapped feature: #38470 ]
  • <7> Report: Department of Environment. 1972. List of Ancient Monuments.
  • <8> Unpublished document: Timms, S.. 1982. Field Notes.
  • <9> Unpublished document: Griffith, F.. 1987. Field Notes.
  • <10> Index: Ordnance Survey. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Record Card. SS64SE23. Plan.
  • <11> Verbal communication: Various. 1993-. Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Team staff comments. S Rimes, 16 January 2012, Record Cleanup..
  • <12> Report: Bray, L.S.. 2010. Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment 2009, Exmoor National Park.
  • <13> Report: Gent, T. and Manning, P.. 2015. Exmoor National Park Scheduled Monument Condition Survey 2015. Archaedia.
  • <14> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 34736, Extant 10 November 2021.



Grid reference Centred SS 6652 4171 (31m by 31m)
Map sheet SS64SE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (4)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 5613
  • Devon SMR: SS64SE/52
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20182
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO35
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 64 SE23
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 34736

Record last edited

Nov 10 2021 12:31PM


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