MDE1282 - Three barrows and a possible cairn on Challacombe Common (Monument)


A group of three Bronze Age barrows and a possible cairn on the ridge between Longstone Barrow and Wood Barrow.

Please read the Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record .

Type and Period (3)

Protected Status

Full Description

('A' SS 7089 4263 and 'B' SS 7104 4261) Tumuli (NR). [1] Four bowl barrows:- 'A' 26 paces in diameter and 6 feet high with a central depression. 'B' 26 paces in diameter, 1 1/2 feet high and truncated. 'C' SS 7063 4267, 16 paces in diameter, 1 foot high and truncated. 'D' SS 7086 4264, 6 paces in diameter, 1 foot high. This is a cairn with a central depression. [2] 'A'. A bowl barrow 24.0 metres in diameter and 1.5 metres high with a slight 0.5 metre deep mutilation in the top. B,C,D from their stone content are probably cairns: 'B' 25.5 metres in diameter and 0.5 metres high. 'C' SS 7062 4264 16.0 metre diameter 0,4 metres high. 'D' SS 7086 4263 8.0 metres in diameter and 0.4 metres high. Surveyed at 1:2500. [3] SS 70834263. A group of three barrows an a possible burial cairn located on the ridge between Longstone Barrow and Wood Barrow. A. SS 70894263. A turf-covered round barrow with a well-defined inverted bowl shape 24.8 metres north to south by 23.4 metres and 1.3 metres high. Some stone could be felt on probing but it is predominantly of earthen construction. The central area has been robbed leaving an oval hollow about 5 metres north to south by 3.5 metres and 0.9 metres deep. The spoil has been dumped around the hollow forming a false cap around the summit area about 0.4 metres high making the overall height of the barrow some 1.7 metres. A large stone sits in the centre of the hollow. This is a Scheduled Monument: Part of Devon 237 (The Longstone Barrow group) [4]. B. SS 7104 4261. A turf and rush-covered barrow 26.2 metres north to south by 24.6 metres. It has the appearance of an embanked platform with the central area about 0.6 metres high and its outer rim, 3.8 metres to 5.5 metres wide, some 0.2m higher. Probing showed that it is mainly earth with a few stones especially in the bank. There is no evidence of a surrounding ditch. It appears to be intact. This is a Scheduled Monument: Part of Devon 237 (The Longstone Barrow group) [4]. C. SS 7062 4265. A barrow of similar, though smaller, construction and appearance to B in a damper area. It measures about 15.2 metres north to south by 14.2 metres. The central area is about 0.3 metres high with the outer rim, 1.7 metres to 3.5 metres wide, some 0.2 metres higher. There is a damp hollow in the north-west quadrant and there appears to be a slightly raised central area which suggests it may have been robbed. A spur of probably natural ground, about 7 metres north to south by 5 metres, protrudes from the west side. (Not Scheduled). D. SS 7087 4263. A small stony mound about 5.6 metres in diameter and 0.3 metres high. There is a hollow, about 1 metre in diameter and 0.2 metres deep, in the south-east quadrant. The mound is not well-defined and is completely different in size and appearance to the surrounding barrows. It is possible that it may be a small sepulchral cairn but it is poor and may be no more than spoil from the barrow 15 metres to the east. (Not Scheduled). It should be noted that (as with the other barrows along this ridge from the Chapman Barrows in the west to Wood Barrow in the east) there is a distinct difference between the two types of monuments here. A is clearly a bowl barrow but B and C are definitely lower rimmed platform or ring bank barrows. D, which must remian doubtful does not fit in with the two types. Surveyed at 1:2500. [5] 'C?' SS 7067 4265 'Flat elliptical platform' reported in 1973 by Miss H Eardley-Wilmot and by L V Grinsell in 1980 as 'circular enclosure' visible on aerial photograph. Classed as Barrow by SMR. [6] The three barrows described above, and the small cairn adjacent to barrow A are clearly visible on aerial photographs, particularly the infra red photography taken for Exmoor National Park Authority in 1981. A second small cairn is visible on these photographs, at SS 7086 4262, slightly to the south west of the first. It appears similar in size and form to the first cairn, measuring 6.8 metres across, and probably represents spoil from the barrow robbing. [7,8] 'D' is visible as ring bank on the 1979 National Monument Record Aerial Photograph. [13] The central and eastern barrows were surveyed as part of the Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment of 2009. This gave the eastern barrow a survival score of 0 and the central barrow a score of 0. [19] The scheduled part of the site was surveyed in March 2015 as part of the 2015 Exmoor Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment. Both barrows were given a survival score of 0. [20] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [21]

Sources/Archives (21)

  • <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. 115.
  • <3> Unpublished document: Fletcher, M.J.. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey field visit, F1, 19 September 1974.
  • <4> Index: English Heritage. 1987. County List of Scheduled Ancient Monuments. Dept of the Environment 1987 County List of Scheduled Ancient Monuments: Devon 15 County No.237.
  • <5> Unpublished document: Sainsbury, I.S.S. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 8 March 1995.
  • <6> Archive: Devon County Council. Various. Devon SMR / HER records / parish files - Exmoor records. Worksheet, H Eardley-Wilmot, 17 July 1979, No: SS74SW/22.
  • <7> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. Exmoor National Park Authority MAL 4974-75 (16 August 1981).
  • <8> Archive: English Heritage. 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 74 SW. MD002182.
  • <9> Article in serial: Worth, R.H.. 1905. Twenty-Fourth Report of the Barrow Committee. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 37. 87-95. P. 94.
  • <10> Unpublished document: McDonnell, R.. 1980. Gazetteer of Sites in the Exmoor National Park Identified through Aerial Photography. SS7142a, SS7042b,.
  • <11> Aerial photograph: Royal Air Force. 1947. RAF/CPE/UK 1980. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. 3086. 3085 (April 1947).
  • <12> Aerial photograph: Meridian Air Maps. 1977-1978. Infrared False Colour Aerial Photography.
  • <13> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR SS7142:SF 1460/36 (7 March 1979).
  • <14> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1905. 6 Inch Map: 1905. 1:10560. 7SW.
  • <15> Aerial photograph: Griffith, F.. 1980s-1990s. Oblique aerial photographs of the Devon part of Exmoor National Park. QO 6, 7 (26 March 1990).
  • <16> Unpublished document: Eardley-Wilmot, H.. 20/02/1979. Letter and Plan.
  • <17> Unpublished document: Timms, S.. 22/02/1980. Worksheet.
  • <18> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR SS7042:SF 1460/39 (7 March 1979).
  • <19> Report: Bray, L.S.. 2010. Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment 2009, Exmoor National Park.
  • <20> Report: Gent, T. and Manning, P.. 2015. Exmoor National Park Scheduled Monument Condition Survey 2015. Archaedia.
  • <21> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 35358, Extant 11 January 2022.

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 12234
  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 12238
  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 643
  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 644
  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 7352
  • Devon SMR: SS74SW/18
  • Devon SMR: SS74SW/19
  • Devon SMR: SS74SW/22
  • Devon SMR: SS74SW/26
  • Devon SMR: SS74SW/30
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20008
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20009
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20191
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20287
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20291
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO97
  • Local List Status (No)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 SW12
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 35358
  • Scheduled Monument (County Number): 237



Grid reference Centred SS 7083 4262 (462m by 68m)
Map sheet SS74SW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (4)

Record last edited

Jan 11 2022 3:06PM


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