MDE1199 - Bronze Age ring cairn at Kinsford Gate Cross (Monument)


A mound that may represent 'Kensford Barrow' which in 1651 marked the west boundary of Exmoor Forest. The site has been interpreted as a Bronze Age bowl barrow, but partial excavation in 1977 suggests it may be a ring cairn.

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Type and Period (2)

Protected Status

Full Description

'North Molton No 10' SS 7400 3660 A broad shallow bowl barrow with hollow in the centre, 28 paces diameter and 2 ft high. This is possibly Kensford Barrow' named in 1651 as marking the west boundary of Exmoor Forest. [1] 'North Molton No 10a' SS 7415 3753 It is uncertain whether it is a bowl barrow or upcast from adjoining quarry. This is 13 paces in diameter and 3 ft high. This site was visited in 1961. [2] SS 7398 3659 A probable bowl barrow 28 metres in diameter and 0.6 metres high situated in undulating moorland. The suggested name 'Kensford barrow' could not be verified - the nearby crossroads is called Kinsford Gate. This site was surveyed at 1:2500. SS 7415 3653. The 0.5 metre high mound is almost certainly spoil from the adjoining diggings (MDE20240). [3] A partial excavation in May and June 1977 was undertaken as the farmer had been permission to plough the site. This uncovered a circular stone bank 63 feet in diameter, 2 feet high with a 5 foot basal spread. A stone cairn within the enclosure may have held a cremation urn, but if so, had been robbed. This is possibly a Bronze Age ring cairn. [4,8] The barrow described above is clearly visible on aerial photographs as a low mound at SS 7398 3659, measuring approximately 28 metres across. [5,6] The site was visited in 1982, when it was noted that the barrow is still visible as a low level mound. [7] The barrow was mentioned in a 1983 article in the proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. [8] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [9]

Sources/Archives (10)

  • <1> Index: Ordnance Survey. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Record Card. SS73NW13.
  • <2> Article in serial: Grinsell, L. V.. 1970. The Barrows of North Devon. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 28. p 101, 105, 125.
  • <3> Unpublished document: Fletcher, M.J.. Field Investigators Comments. Ordhance Survey visit, F1, 7 March 1972.
  • <4> Serial: Devonshire Association. 1862 -. Devonshire Association reports and transactions. Eardley-Wilmot, H., 1980, Volume 112, p 171-174.
  • <5> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF/106G/UK/1655 3407-08 (11 July 1946).
  • <6> Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 73 NW. MD002189.
  • <7> Unpublished document: Bovey & Timms. 1982. Site Visit Field Notes. Site visit 9 June 1982.
  • <8> Serial: Devon Archaeological Society. 1929+. Devon Archaeological Society Proceedings. Grinsell, L. V., 1983, Volume 41, p 46.
  • <9> Serial: Exmoor Society. 1959-present. Exmoor Review. Volume 19 (1978), "Saving Exmoor's Past", p63-67 (H Eardley-Wilmot).
  • <10> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 35046, Extant 24 November 2021.



Grid reference Centred SS 7398 3658 (31m by 31m)
Map sheet SS73NW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (3)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR (Devonshire): 527
  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 12160
  • Devon SMR: SS73NW/527
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20239
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO60
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 73 NW13
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 35046

Record last edited

Nov 24 2021 2:11PM


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