MDE1227 - Bronze Age barrow on Kipscombe Hill (Monument)


A Bronze Age barrow measuring 14 metres in diameter and 0.9 metres high, with indications of a surrounding ditch. A probable excavaion trench is cut into the summit. Three upright stones on the summit may be of recent origin. Summary from record MDE20027: Prehistoric round barrow to the southeast of Kipscombe Hill Summary from record MMO70: Bronze Age barrow on Kipscombe Hill measuring 14m in diameter and 0.9m high. It has a ditch 0.2m deep and 1.3m wide visible on its northern side. A trench which is assumed to be the result of an excavation is cut into the summit.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

(SS 7712 4917) Tumulus (NR). [1] A bowl barrow 16 paces in diameter and 4 feet high, with a hollow in the centre, and indications of a surrounding ditch. Visited 1961. [2] A ditched bowl barrow. It's overall diameter is 22.0 metres and the diamter of the mound is 15.0 metres. The height of the mound varies between 0.9 metres to 1.2 metres on the south-east, partly due to upcast. The now silted ditch 0.2 metres deep is clearly visible except on the south, downhill side. The site is under grasss in arable land. Published 1:2500 survey revised. [3] A barrow centred at SS 7712 4917 and located on the south-facing slopes of Kipscombe Hill.It is 14 metres in overall diameter and 0.9 metres high with a summit diameter of 9 metres. The mound is well defined and upstanding. A ditch 0.2 metres deep and 1.3 metres wide is visible on its upslope (northern side). A trench, probably the result of an excavation, cut into its summit is aligned north-north-west to south-south-east, and is positioned off centre towards the north-west; it is 5 metres long, 1.7 metres wide and 0.3 metres deep. On the southern part of the barrow summit are three small upright stones. Their position on the top of the mound and the fact that they have not been mentioned by other observers suggests that they are of recent origin. Nevertheless they are well set into the ground. They are placed in a configuration forming three sides of a small rectangle 0.5 metres square overall. The stones vary in size and height, the biggest measuring 0.3 metres square by 0.35 metres high. [4] Round mound marked 'Tumulus' by the Ordnace Survey. Good on 1947 aerial photograph, fair on 1977 aerial photograph. [9] Prehistoric Bronze Age burial mound to the southeast of Kipscombe Hill. [10] The bowl barrow is clearly visible as an earthwork on aerial photographs of 1952 as an earthwork approximately 13 metres in diameter. The variation from the dimensions described above probably arises from poor visibility due to vegetation cover prior to the enclosure of Kipscombe Hill. Nonetheless, the large rectangular cut into the barrow is clearly visible in 1952. By 1972 the barrow appears to have been damaged by ploughing following the post-war enclosure. Evidence for at least 4 and possibly as many as 10 mounds, possibly further barrows forming a roughly linear cemetery, can be seen as earthworks an cropmarks to the north and west of Kipscombe Hill. [11-13] It was noted during a site visit that the monument was in an area of rough grazing and there were four large sheep scrapes eroding the fabric of the barrow. The damage was thought to be due to long term erosion by stock sheltering rather than recent overgrazing or stocking. It was suggested the hollows should be refilled and the surface stabilised. [14] The Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment of 2009 gave the site a survival score of 7. [14] The site was surveyed in May 2015 as part of the 2015 Exmoor Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment. It was given a survival score of 8. [15] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [16]

Sources/Archives (17)

  • <1> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1962. 6 Inch Map: 1962. 1:10560.
  • <2> Article in serial: Grinsell, L.V.. 1970. The Barrows of North Devon. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 28. P. 116.
  • <3> Unpublished document: STONE, J.W.. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, F1, 24 September 1974.
  • <4> Unpublished document: Wilson-North, R.. Various. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 25 November 1993.
  • <5> Unpublished document: Weston, S.. 1983. List of Field Monument Warden visits.
  • <6> Aerial photograph: RAF. 1947. CPE/UK 1980.4041. Aerial Photograph. 1980.4041.
  • <7> Aerial photograph: Unknown. 1977. MAM 13/030. 13/030.
  • <8> Aerial photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1989. DAP/LD 13-15. Devon Aerial Photograph. 11-16.
  • <9> Unpublished document: McDonnell, R.. 1980. Gazetteer of Sites in the Exmoor National Park Identified through Aerial Photography. SS7449B.
  • <10> Report: Berry, N.. 2004. Archaeological and Historic Landscape Survey of Kipscombe Farm, Countisbury, Devon. P. 3.
  • <11> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF 540/910 (F20) 3004-5 (17 October 1952).
  • <12> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/72065 013-014 (15 April 1972).
  • <13> Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 74 NE. MD002168.
  • <14> Report: Juleff, G.. 2003. English Heritage site visit forms.
  • <15> Report: Bray, L.S.. 2010. Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment 2009, Exmoor National Park.
  • <16> Report: Gent, T. and Manning, P.. 2015. Exmoor National Park Scheduled Monument Condition Survey 2015. Archaedia.
  • <17> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 35124, Extant 6 December 2021.



Grid reference Centred SS 7712 4917 (30m by 28m) MasterMap
Map sheet SS74NE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (8)

Related Events/Activities (6)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 662
  • Devon SMR: SS74NE/509
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20027
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO70
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 NE8
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 35124

Record last edited

Dec 6 2021 8:41PM


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