MDE1292 - Bronze Age round cairn on Thornworthy Common (Monument)


A Bronze Age round cairn has been heavily robbed for road metalling, leaving its surface with several amorphous humps and hollows. It was marked as a hut circle on historic mapping.

Please read the Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record .

Type and Period (2)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

(SS 7156 4455) Hut Circle (NR). [1] On Thornworthy Common a circular stony patch of bracken, shown as a hut circle on the Ordnance Survey map but possibly the site of a cairn, 10 paces in diameter and six inches high, largely removed to supply material for the road to the west. [2,3] SS 7158 4455 As described by Grinsell; however there is not enough evidence to establish it as a cairn site. Sited on 1:2500. [4] SS 71587 44552. A round cairn, 13 metres in diameter and 0.5 metres maximum height levelled into a gentle north facing slope on Thornworthy Common. Located in an area of heather, bracken and rough grass some 320 metres above Ordnance Datum. It is prominently situated with clear views from the southwest northwards around to the southeast and it overlooks the cairn cemetery on Ilkerton Ridge some 500 metres to the northeast. The cairn is covered in bracken and turf and has been robbed leaving its surface uneven with several amorphous humps and hollows and a rather irregular perimeter. Probing revealed a content of stone just below the surface. The interior shows a definite rise towards the centre and its stone content, though disturbed, is fairly consolidated. There does not appear to be a kerb as such but several stones are evident around the perimeter. Due to the heavy cover of vegetation its exact diameter is difficult to ascertain but it is within a few decimetres of 13 metres. Surveyed at 1:2500. [5-7] The cairn described by [7] above is clearly visible on aerial photographs as a small amorphous mound, measuring approximately 12.5 metres in diameter. [8-9] The cairn is depicted and labelled on 2021 MasterMap data at SS 7158 4455. [10] "Hut circle" marked on six inch 1903/1938 Ordnance Survey map. [11] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [12] SS 7158 4455. A circular stony mound with irregular hollows on its flat top was noted on Thornworthy Common during field survey following a wildfire in 2022. The feature was measured as 9 metres in diameter and 0.4 metres high. It was interpreted as a late Neolithic or Bronze Age cairn. [13]

Sources/Archives (13)

  • <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 124.
  • <3> Monograph: Grinsell, L.V.. 1970. The Archaeology of Exmoor: Bideford Bay to Bridgwater. David and Charles Limited. p 195.
  • <4> Unpublished document: Fletcher, M.J.. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, 17 September 1974.
  • <5> Survey: Lynton and Lynmouth, cairn at SS 74 SW 22/ink sketch . 1:2500. General: Paper. Pen and Ink.
  • <6> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1854-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1889, Devon Sheet 7(5).
  • <7> Unpublished document: Sainsbury, I.S.S. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 5 September 1994.
  • <8> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF 106G/UK/1655 4065-66 (11 July 1946).
  • <9> Archive: English Heritage. 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 74 SW. MD002182.
  • <10>XY Map: Ordnance Survey. 2021. MasterMap data. 1:2,500. [Mapped feature: #47031 ]
  • <11> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1903-1949. County Series; 3rd Edition (2nd Revision) 6 Inch Map. 1:10560. 1903/1938, 7NW.
  • <12> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 35388, Extant 11 January 2022.
  • <13> Report: Riley, H.. 2022. Walkover survey on Ilkerton Ridge, Lynton and Lynmouth, Devon, Exmoor National Park: Project report. Hazel Riley. p 15, IR026.

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR (Devonshire): SS74SW/38
  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 12246
  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 14678
  • Devon SMR: SS74SW/62
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20298
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20401
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO103
  • Local Heritage List Status (Unassessed)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 SW22
  • National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 35388



Grid reference Centred SS 7158 4455 (21m by 21m)
Map sheet SS74SW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

Related Events/Activities (4)

Record last edited

Nov 10 2022 10:03AM


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