MDE1287 - Four Bronze Age burial cairns on Ilkerton Ridge (Monument)


A group of four Bronze Age burial cairns, forming a cemetery on Ilkerton Ridge. Two of the cairns, A and B, are Scheduled.

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Type and Period (2)

Protected Status

Full Description

('A' SS 7192 4499 and 'B' SS 7197 4499) Tumuli (NR). [1] 'A' (SS 7192 4499) is a stony mound, 15 paces in diameter and 3 1/2 feet high. 'B' (SS 7197 4499) is a stony mound 20 paces in diameter and 5 feet high. 'C' (SS 7183 4513) is a cairn 10 paces in diameter and 2 feet high. 'D' (SS 7187 4500) is a cairn 16 paces in diameter and 1 foot high. 'E' (SS 7189 4500) is a doubtful barrow 13 paces in diameter and 1/2 foot high. The mound at SS 71874 496 equates with either grinsell's lynton 4 or 4a ('D' above) [16]. [2] 'A' (SS 7191 4499) A bowl barrow, up to 18.0 metres in diameter and 1.3 metres high. 'B' (SS 7196 4499) A bowl barrow 20.5 metres in diameter and 1.4 metres high. 'C' (SS 7183 4513) A mutilated cairn 10.5 metres in diameter and 0.5 metres high. 'D' (SS 7187 4496) A probable cairn up to 19.0 metres in diameter and 0.4 metres high. 'E' (SS 7189 4497) A mound 12.5 metres in diameter and 0.3 metres high; a probable cairn. 'F' (SS 7185 4499 ) A mound 8.1 metres in diameter and 0.5 metres high; probably a natural peat mound. Surveyed at 1:2500. [3] SS 7191 4499. A group of four cairns on Ilkerton Ridge. Probing and erosion reveals that these mounds, although heather, turf and bracken covered, are mainly composed of stones and as such should be classified as cairns rather than barrows. Also there is no trace of any ditches surrounding the mounds. Ilkerton Ridge is predominantly heather covered with some bracken and rough grass. These cairns have been deliberately placed, not, as might be expected, on the highest parts of the ridge but just above the almost level saddle, about 315 metres above sea level, between two higher summits to the northwest and southeast. Three cairns (A, B and D) are on the southern side of the saddle and an isolated fourth one (C) is set some 170 metres to the northwest on slightly rising ground. A. SS 71910 44991. This is 12.5 metres in diameter and 1 metre high and is apparently undisturbed apart from a shallow central depression 0.7 metres in diameter and 0.2 metres deep. There is the suggestion of a slight platform, about 2 to 3 metres wide and 0.2 metres maximum height, surrounding the cairn in places. This may account for the discrepancy in diameter of the cairn given by previous authorities. B. SS 71962 44994. This cairn, the largest and best preserved of the group, measures 19 metres in diameter and up to 1.5 metres high. It has a flatter top than cairn A. The cairn appears relatively intact apart from animal rubbings which have eroded part of its perimeter in the south exposing a content of small stones. Here also there is the suggestion of a surrounding platform about 2 metres wide and no more than 0.2 metres high. C. SS 71836 45138. (Note: This cairn actually lies in SS 74 NW) This cairn is 9 metres north to south by 9.5 metres and is 0.9 metres high. There is a slight hollow in the northwest quadrant, possibly the result of robbing but otherwise it appears intact. Mold and Eardley-Wilmot [5] report 'two probable barrows and four mounds' in the vicinity of this cairn but nothing of any archaeological significance was seen in the area. D. SS 71875 44969. This cairn measures 12.5 to 13 metres in diameter and is up to 0.6 metres high. It is not exactly symmetrical and its somewhat ragged edge and irregular flat top suggests that it has probably been robbed. It is poorly defined in comparison to cairns A and B and there is no evidence of a surrounding platform. Mold and Eardley-Wilmot [12] record 'two small mounds and a barrow just west of this' site. See F otherwise nothing of any archaeological significance seen. E. SS 71896 44978. An irregular area of raised ground about 9.5 metres north to south by 6 metres and 0.3 metres in maximum height. Probing revealed a somewhat denser quantity of stone than the surrounding area. This may have been a cairn but, if so, it is badly mutilated. F. SS 71856 44994. Some 31 metres northwest of cairn D is an irregular mound 5 metres north to south by 3.6 metres and about 0.4 metres high. Probing revealed some stone content but probably no more than the surrounding natural ground. Almost certainly a natural feature or rise. This site is Scheduled as a cemetery (Devon 636) [6] and the scheduled list gives the Monument Title as `Two round barrows and cairn cemetery'. Presumably the barrows are cairns A and B however it does not state how many cairns there are in the cemetery. Surveyed at 1:2500. [4] (SS 7187 4496) A substantial round mound. Good on the 1947 aerial photograph and fair on the 1977 aerial photograph. [7] Two round barrows and cairn cemetery on likerton Ridge. Long ridge covered a large cemetery of some 50-60 low round cairns all about 3.56 metres in height, and 6.096 to 9.14 metres across. The cemetery is dominated at the top of the ridge by two large round barrows. [10] Cairn 'C' (original Monarch record 1464730)- A cairn of probable Bronze Age date is visible on aerial photographs as low earthwork mound on Ilkerton Ridge, Lynton and Lynmouth parish, centred on circa SS 71834513. From the available aerial photographs it appears to be roughly circular in shape, measuring up to 12 metres in diameter. Recorded as part of a group of four barrows or cairns (identified as cairn 'C'), this mound is a actually a northern outlier in a larger cemetery group of barrows, cairns and other prehistoric ritual monuments extending southwards onto Thornworthy common. [13-15] The site was visited as part of the Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment of 2009. Only cairns A and B (the scheduled pair) were surveyed. Cairn A was given a survival score of 3 and B a score of 4. [17] Barrow / Cairn 'B' (original Monarch record 1500440)- A large earthwork mound is visible on aerial photographs of the 1940s onwards centred on circa SS 71964499, on the southern side of Ilkerton Ridge. The mound appears to be slightly elliptical in shape, measuring between 18 and 22 metres in diameter, and is probably a bowl barrow or cairn of Bronze Age date. This monument is also recorded with four other similar mounds in this area as part of a possible cairn cemetery, in which it is recorded as mound B. The earthwork remains clearly visible on aerial photographs of 1995. [14, 18,19] The two scheduled cairns were surveyed in May 2015 as part of the 2015 Exmoor Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment. Cairn A was given a survival score of 3 and Cairn B a score of 4. [20] Cairms A to D are depicted and labelled on the 2021 MasterMap data. [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. 123.
  • <3> Unpublished document: Fletcher, M.J.. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, 17 September 1974.
  • <4>XY Unpublished document: Sainsbury, I.S.S. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 8 September 1994. [Mapped features: #47193 Cairn E, ; #47194 Feature F - either cairn or natural, ]
  • <5> DHER migrated record: Eardley-Wilmot, H.. 19/05/1981. Worksheet on Inkerton Ridge Barrows.
  • <6> Index: English Heritage. 1987. County List of Scheduled Ancient Monuments. Devon 18.
  • <7> Unpublished document: McDonnell, R.. 1980. Gazetteer of Sites in the Exmoor National Park Identified through Aerial Photography. SS7144e.
  • <8> Aerial photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946 -1948. Vertical Aerial Photography. RAF/CPE/UK/1980.4082 (April 1947).
  • <9> Aerial photograph: Meridian Air Maps. 1977-1978. Infrared False Colour Aerial Photography. MAM/13/070 (May 1977).
  • <10> Index: Department of Environment. 1969. List of Ancient Monuments in England.
  • <11> Unpublished document: Weston, S.. 1983. Field Monument Warden Visit.
  • <12> Unpublished document: Eardley-Wilmot, H.. 08/08/1981. Worksheet on Inkerton Ridge Barrows.
  • <13> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF 540/910 (F20) 3159 (17 October 1952).
  • <14> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/95/026 24-26 (12 March 1995).
  • <15> Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 74 NW. MD002173.
  • <16> Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information. Record cleanup, S Rimes, 23 January 2012.
  • <17> Report: Bray, L.S.. 2010. Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment 2009, Exmoor National Park.
  • <18> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF CPE/UK/1980 (F20) 4081-2 (11 April 1947).
  • <19> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Oblique Aerial Photograph. MIL OBS SS 7245/4 (SFFO 540/846 0037) (22 August 1952).
  • <20> Report: Gent, T. and Manning, P.. 2015. Exmoor National Park Scheduled Monument Condition Survey 2015. Archaedia.
  • <21>XY Map: Ordnance Survey. 2021. MasterMap data. 1:2,500. [Mapped features: #47189 Cairn A (Scheduled), ; #47190 Cairn B (Scheduled), ; #47191 Cairn C, ; #47192 Cairn D, ]



Grid reference Centred SS 71900 45051 (157m by 191m) (6 map features)
Map sheet SS74NW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (3)

External Links (3)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 12610
  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 5343
  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 660
  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 661
  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 7349
  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 7350
  • Devon SMR: SS74NW/22
  • Devon SMR: SS74NW/23
  • Devon SMR: SS74SW/1
  • Devon SMR: SS74SW/1/1
  • Devon SMR: SS74SW/2
  • Devon SMR: SS74SW/64
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20025
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20026
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20171
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20188
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20189
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20375
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO1868
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO3780
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 SW17
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 SW288
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1464730
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1500440
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 35373
  • Scheduled Monument (County Number): 636

Record last edited

Jul 7 2021 12:40PM


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