MDE1191 - 'Five Barrows', or nine Bronze Age barrows on Five Barrows Hill (Monument)
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Type and Period (1)
SS 732 368 Five Barrows (NR) (detail of eight shown).  Grinsell found an additional barrow, making a total of nine, during a field visit in April 1949, when he made the following notes: 1. SS 7288 3690 diameter 20 paces, heightt 1.5 feet. New discovery, truncated. 2. SS 7296 3692 diameter 28 paces, height 8.5 feet 3. SS 7301 3687 diameter 33 paces, height 6.5 feet 4. SS 7316 3686 diameter 30 paces, height 5.5 feet 5. SS 7322 3671 diameter 26 paces, height 3.5 feet 6. SS 7325 3681 diameter 32 paces, height 10.5 feet. Hole in centre. 7. SS 7331 3677 diameter 36 paces, height 6.5 feet. Bell barrow. 8. SS 7348 3676 diameter 32 paces, height 4 feet. Partly surrounded by a ditch, possibly not original. 9. SS 7354 3680 diameter 13 paces, height 4 feet.  1. SS 7290 3690. A flat topped bowl barrow, diameter 19.0 metres, height 0.5 metres. 2. SS 7295 3693. A bowl barrow, diameter 25.0 metres, height 2.1 metres with an 0.6 meter deep central mutilation. 3. c. A bowl barrow, diameter 32.0 metres and 1.8 metres high. 4. SS 7316 3686. A mutilated bowl barrow, diameter 31 metres and up to 1.7 metres high. 5. c. A flat topped bowl barrow 25.0 metres across with an average height of 0.8 metres. 6. SS 7324 3681. A bowl barrow, diameter 32.0 metres, height 3.3 metres and mutilated by a Trig pillar and an 0.6 metres deep central mutilation. 7. SS 7331 3678. A bell barrow up to 35 metres across with an overall height of 2.5 metres 8. c. A mutilated flat-topped bowl barrow, 34 metres across with a trench dug into the side of the slope. Height of mound 0.7 metres, ditch 0.3 metres deep and outer slope 0.4 metres high. (Was the trench dug to remove the retaining stones for road mending or hedging ?) 9. SS 7354 3680. A mutilated bowl barrow, diameter 14 metres and 1.3 metres high. All nine barrows are on moorland. Published survey (1:2500) revised. [3-5] The barrows described above are clearly visible on aerial photographs of Five Barrows Hill. Barrows 2-8 appear to be surrounded by narrow ditches, visible as cropmark areas of lush growth. In addition, a possible tenth barrow is visible on aerial photographs in the north of the group. Situated at SS 7325 3690, this barrow measures 26 metres in diameter and does not appear to be surrounded by a ditch. [6-7] NB - The Devonshire HER has numbered the barrows differently. Barrow 1 is not recorded in the HER, the other HER numbers are as follows; 2: 720, 3: 719, 4: 718, 5: 716, 6: 717, 7: 715, 8: 714, and 9: 713. In 1906 Worth briefly described the eight barrows individually. He notes that they occupy the summit of a ridge and are conspicuous from miles around. The barrows in this neighbourhood tend to align in an east-west extension.  These barrows were assesed in McDonnell's 1980 aerial survey, where he identified ten barrows (including MDE20457, MDE20458 and MDE20459).  Photographs assessed during the above survey , and possibly during the National Mapping Programme survey  - [10-15] In 1979 the barrows were assessed as being in good condition. Adjacent land being reclaimed.  Ordnance Survey 6 inch map of 1905.  These features are mentioned in the Devon Archaeological Society proceedings.  SS 7316 3686 Westernmost one of the group, not very visible from a short distance. Gently conical with hole dug into one side.  The site was visited as part of the Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment of 2009. The individual barrows received survival scores as follows: Grinsell 2 - 0; 3 - 0; 4 - 0; 5 - 0; 6 - 3; 7 - 0; 8 - 0; 9 - 10. The site was surveyed in April 2015 as part of the 2015 Exmoor Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment. The barrows were given the following survival scores: 2 - 0; 3 - 0; 4 - 0; 5 - 0; 6 - 3; 7 - 0; 8 - 0; 9 - 6.  The Exmoor Review notes that in 1967 Five Barrows Hill was omitted from the first "critical amenity moorland" map, but was then reinstated after inquiries were made. It was included in the critical amenity area on the Exmoor National Park Committee ploughing map of 1975. However, in June 1975 a fence was run through the barrow cluster, separating one barrow from the rest, and vegetation was burned off in this area using Gromoxone preparatory to direct drilling with rye grass (on the near side, the heather remained). This area had once again been removed from the critical amenity area mapping, as it was not thought to be visible from the road and there was no legal right of access in this area. A gate was, however, added by the farmer to give public access to the furthest barrow.  The site is labelled "Five Barrows" and "Tumuli" on 2020 MasterMap data. Most of the barrows mentioned above are depicted. 
- <1> SEM7220 Map: Ordnance Survey. 1962. 6 Inch Map: 1962. 1:10560.
- <2> SEM6798 Article in serial: Grinsell, L.V.. 1970. The Barrows of North Devon. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 28. P. 125.
- <3> SMO7308 Unpublished document: Fletcher, M.J.. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, 7 March 1973.
- <4> SMO5073 Survey: Five Barrows Combe/ink survey . 1:500. General: Permatrace. Pen and Ink.
- <5> SMO7267 Technical drawing: Selected Barrow Profiles: Chapman Barrows, Longstone Barrow, Five Barrows. Pencil.
- <6> SEM6707 Aerial photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946 -1948. Vertical Aerial Photography. RAF CPE/UK/2082 4052-54 (19 May 1947).
- <7> SMO7572 Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 73 NW. MD002189.
- <8> SEM6799 Article in serial: Worth, R.H.. 1906. Twenty-Fifth Report of the Barrow Committee. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 38. P. 62-65.
- <9> SEM7406 Unpublished document: McDonnell, R.. 1980. Gazetteer of Sites in the Exmoor National Park Identified through Aerial Photography. SS7336b.
- <10> SEM6707 Aerial photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946 -1948. Vertical Aerial Photography. CPE/UK/1980.4443 (April 1947).
- <11> SEM7408 Aerial photograph: Meridian Air Maps. 1977-1978. Infrared False Colour Aerial Photography. /14/099 (May 1977).
- <12> SMO4067 Aerial photograph: Aerial photograph reference number . CUC/AFC 96 (7 June 1962).
- <13> SMO4067 Aerial photograph: Aerial photograph reference number . CUC/ANM 90-96 (28 April 1966) ANM 92.
- <14> SMO4067 Aerial photograph: Aerial photograph reference number . CUC/CBO 11-15 (7 September 1976) /CBO 15.
- <15> SMO4067 Aerial photograph: Aerial photograph reference number . NMR SS7336.
- <16> SDE93423 Report: Devon Committee for Rescue Archaeology. 1979. Devon Committee for Rescue Archaeology, Publication 5.
- <17> SEM7704 Map: Ordnance Survey. 1905. 6 Inch 11SW. 1:10560.
- <18> SDE340353 Monograph: Devon Archaeological Society. 1988. Prehistoric Barrows on Exmoor. Field Guide 4.
- <19> SEM7705 Index: Ministry of Works. 1920. List of Ancient Monuments.
- <20> SEM7402 Report: Bray, L.S.. 2010. Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment 2009, Exmoor National Park.
- <21> SEM8278 Report: Gent, T. and Manning, P.. 2015. Exmoor National Park Scheduled Monument Condition Survey 2015.
- <22> SEM7985 Serial: Exmoor Society. 1959-present. Exmoor Review. Volume 17 (1976), "Five Barrows Hill", p18-19, image p25.
- <23> SEM8817 Map: Ordnance Survey. 2020. MasterMap data. 1:2,500.
|Grid reference||Centred SS 732 368 (658m by 251m)|
|Civil Parish||NORTH MOLTON, NORTH DEVON, DEVON|
Related Monuments/Buildings (7)
- Parent of: Possible Bronze Age barrow among 'Five Barrows' (Monument) (MDE20458)
- Parent of: Possible Bronze Age barrow among 'Five Barrows' (Monument) (MDE20459)
- Parent of: Possible Bronze Age barrow near 'Five Barrows' (Monument) (MDE20457)
- Parent of: Possible Bronze Age barrow near 'Five Barrows' (Monument) (MDE20461)
- Parent of: Possible Bronze Age barrow near 'Five Barrows' (Monument) (MDE20462)
- Parent of: Possible Bronze Age barrow near 'Five Barrows' (Monument) (MDE20463)
- Parent of: Possible Bronze Age barrow near summit of Five Barrows Hill (Monument) (MDE13181)
Related Events/Activities (1)
Related Articles (1)
External Links (1)
- http://www.pastscape.org.uk/hob.aspx?hob_id=35022 (Pastscape entry: 35022)
- Devon SMR Monument ID: 713
- Devon SMR Monument ID: 714
- Devon SMR Monument ID: 715
- Devon SMR Monument ID: 716
- Devon SMR Monument ID: 717
- Devon SMR Monument ID: 718
- Devon SMR Monument ID: 719
- Devon SMR Monument ID: 720
- Devon SMR: SS73NW/512
- Devon SMR: SS73NW/513
- Devon SMR: SS73NW/514
- Devon SMR: SS73NW/515
- Devon SMR: SS73NW/516
- Devon SMR: SS73NW/517
- Devon SMR: SS73NW/518
- Devon SMR: SS73NW/519
- Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20066
- Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20067
- Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20068
- Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20069
- Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20070
- Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20071
- Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20072
- Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20073
- Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO52
- National Monuments Record reference: SS 73 NW5
- National Park: Exmoor National Park
- Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 35022
Record last edited
Sep 22 2020 12:50PM
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