MDE1081 - Three Bronze Age barrows on Kentisbury Down (Monument)


Three Bronze Age barrows on an east facing slope on Kentisbury Down, varying between 9.8 metres in diameter and 0.4 metres high, to 15 metres by 2 metres. Two have been disturbed by hedgerow ditches.

Please read the Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record .

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

(Area SS 642434) Tumuli (O.E.) (Two) & Tumulus (O.E.). [1] Three round barrows on Kentisbury Down. 'A' SS 6421 4346. 16 paces in diameter and 4 and a half feet high. 'B' SS 6429 4344. 12 paces in diameter and 1 foot high. 'C' SS 6433 4338. 11 paces in diameter and 1 and a half feet high. Traces of other smaller mound (? barrows) in vicinity noted by Wickenden in 1939 and confirmed in 1961. [2] 'A' No change 'B' Very poor condition, the mound is now very slight. 'C' Approximately 11.0 metres in diameter and 0.7 metres high. Smaller mounds noted by Grinsell not certainly identifiable and unlikely to be cairns or barrows. Barrows A-C surveyed at 1:2500. [3] SS 643 433. Round barrow. Scheduled, Devon 95. [4] Three round barrows centred at SS 6429 4344 on east facing slopes on Kentisbury Down. All the barrows lie within improved permanent pasture, and have a very open aspect to the east. Barrow A. Centred at SS 6421 4346. A well preserved, turf covered, circular mound, composed of earth and shale. It stands to 2 metres in height and has a diameter of 15 metres. A slight hollowing on the eastern side of the summit is probably the result of animal rubbing. Barrow B. Centred at SS 6428 4344. A low, turf-covered, circular mound, composed of earth and shale, and bisected by a north-west to south-east hedgebank. The barrow is 0.4 metres high and has an approximate diameter of 9.8 metres. The hedgebank, some 1.8 metres wide overlies the mound, whilst a drainage ditch along the south-west side of the boundary has cut through the core of the mound, leaving a slight arc of mound material at the extreme edge of the field. On the north-east side of the boundary the spread mound is more visible as a broad swelling at the edge of the field. Barrow C. Centred at SS 6432 4338. A low, turf-covered, triangular-shaped mound, of unknown composition. The barrow stands to 0.6 metres in height and has a diameter of approximately 10.5 metres. Its north-west side has been truncated and straightened by a hedge ditch running beside the field boundary. A field gate and a trough to the immediate north-north-east have also caused some wear to the mound. 1:2500 survey revised. Archive plan including MDE1077 deposited in NMR. [5,18] Barrow 'A' as described above is visble on aerial photographs as an substantial earthwork on Kentisbury Down. The two smaller barrows are not visible. On photographs taken in 1947, there is a worn area surrounding Barrow A, probably the result of animal erosion. [6] This barrow [barrow A] does not appear to have been opened. It lies in the ploughed field but it is respected by the plough which seems never to have gone over it. [8] Barrow [A] is still well preserved, lying in pasture, and not affected by the farmer's proposal to plough and reseed part of his farm. The barrow [B] is still visible as a slight mound. It is crossed by a hedgebank which runs north-west to south-east. The greater part of the barrow lies to the north east of this hedge in a field which was ploughed in 1965 and is due to be ploughed again in 1981. The barrow [C], which lies against the north-west hedge of a large field, is still visible. It was ploughed in 1966 and the hedge ditch on its north west side was dug out by machine in 1980. The field is due to be ploughed again in 1981. [9] This barrow [A] was scheduled as 95a in 1931. The field to north-east of hedge has been recently ploughed. A small area on/around the mound [Barrow B] has been left unploughed. Seen from road. This barrow was scheduled with barrow to the south-east [C] as 95b in 1948. A management agreement is under negotiation. [10] The Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment of 2009 gave all three barrows a score of 3. [16] The site was surveyed in June 2015 as part of the 2015 Exmoor Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment. Barrows A and C were given a survival score of 0 and barrow B received a score of 7. [17] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [19] The three barrows are depicted and labelled "tumuli" and "tumulus" on the 2021 MasterMap data. [20]

Sources/Archives (19)

  • <1> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1905. 6 Inch Map: 1905. 1:10560.
  • <2> Article in serial: Grinsell, L.V.. 1970. The Barrows of North Devon. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 28. P. 122.
  • <3> Unpublished document: Fletcher, M.J.. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, F1, 17 August 1972.
  • <4> Index: Department of the Environment (IAM). 1978. List of Ancient Monuments of England and Wales 1978. P. 41.
  • <5> Unpublished document: Wilson-North, R.. Various. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 11 February 1993.
  • <6> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF CPE/UK/1980 3097-98 (11 April 1947).
  • <7> Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 64 SW. MD002180.
  • <8> Index: Ministry of Works. 1924. List of Ancient Monuments.
  • <9> Archive: Devon County Council. Various. Devon SMR / HER records / parish files - Exmoor records. Worksheet, S Timms, 15 September 1981.
  • <10> Unpublished document: Department of Environment. 18/11/1983. Letter to County Planning Officer.
  • <12> Aerial photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946 -1948. Vertical Aerial Photography. CPE/UK/1980.3098 (April 1947).
  • <13> Aerial photograph: Meridian Air Maps. 1977-1978. Infrared False Colour Aerial Photography.
  • <14> Archive: Devon County Council. Various. Devon SMR / HER records / parish files - Exmoor records. Slide photographs, SC Timms, 9 June 1983.
  • <15> Unpublished document: Weston, S.. 1982. Department of Environment Field Monument Warden Visit. April 1982.
  • <16> Report: Bray, L.S.. 2010. Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment 2009, Exmoor National Park.
  • <17> Report: Gent, T. and Manning, P.. 2015. Exmoor National Park Scheduled Monument Condition Survey 2015. Archaedia.
  • <18> Technical drawing: Wilson-North, R.. 1993. Kentisbury, enclosure at SS 64 SW 2/ink survey . 1:2500. Permatrace. Pen and Ink.
  • <19> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 34778, Extant 15 November 2021.
  • <20>XY Map: Ordnance Survey. 2021. MasterMap data. 1:2,500. [Mapped features: #47714 ; #47715 ; #47716 ]

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR (Devonshire): SS64SW/29
  • Devon SMR (Devonshire): SS64SW/8
  • Devon SMR (Devonshire): SS64SW28
  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 12115
  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 12116
  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 2046
  • Devon SMR: SS64SW/6
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20122
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20223
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20224
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO38
  • Local List Status (No)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 64 SW6
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 34778
  • Scheduled Monument (County Number): DV 95



Grid reference Centred SS 6426 4342 (129m by 100m) (3 map features)
Map sheet SS64SW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (4)

Record last edited

Nov 15 2021 9:26PM


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