MDE1294 - Bronze Age burial cairn on Furzehill Common (Monument)


A flattish turf covered mound, previously identified as a prehistoric hut circle or a bowl barrow, is now thought to be a Bronze Age burial cairn. A large sandstone slab in its northwest quadrant may have been removed from nearby stone setting.

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Type and Period (4)

Protected Status

Full Description

SS 7345 4452. A bowl barrow is marked as a hut circle on the six inch Ordnance Survey map dating from 1962. [1] Classified as a bowl barrow, 14 paces in diameter and 1 foot high. [2] SS 7344 4452. A bowl barrow 13.0 metres in diameter and 0.3 metres high, with a small 0.3 metre deep mutilation in the top. Resurveyed at 1:2500. [3] SS 73442 44518. A cairn, 12 metres diameter and 0.5 metres high, prominently situated at about 356 metres above Ordnance Datum on the flat top of Furzehill Common. The area has been ploughed and is covered by rough grass, although the moorland vegetation is gradually returning. The cairn is now evident as a flattish turf covered mound with a predominant scarp around the south side. An irregular perimeter and hollowed centre, denotes severe robbing mainly from the uphill northern side. It is most likely that this robbing, leaving an annular ring of debris, led to the identification of this feature as a hut circle by the Ordnance Survey in 1888 [4]. The central hollow, about 2 metres in diameter and 0.4 metres deep, reveals the content of small stones. The robbing and mutilation make it now difficult to ascertain the original size of the cairn but it appears to have been about 12 metres in diameter. A large grey sandstone slab, 1 metre long, 0.5 metres wide and 0.2 metres thick, with a broken base which is laid in the northwest quadrant, may have been removed from the stone setting 110 metres to the west (MDE1303). Surveyed at 1:2500. [5] The cairn as described above is visible as a low flat topped mound on aerial photographs. It lies in an area of post medieval peat cutting, and it seems likely that this activity has damaged much of the monument. [6,7]

Sources/Archives (7)

  • <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. 124.
  • <3> Unpublished document: Fletcher, M.J.. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, 17 September 1974.
  • <4> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1889, Devon 7(6).
  • <5> Unpublished document: Sainsbury, I.S.S. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 12 September 1994.
  • <6> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/72314 281-82 (16 August 1972).
  • <7> Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 74 SW. MD002182.



Grid reference Centred SS 7344 4452 (26m by 25m) (Aerial survey)
Map sheet SS74SW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR (Devonshire): SS74SW/52
  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 12260
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20334
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO105
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 SW24
  • National Park
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 35394

Record last edited

Jan 22 2018 11:40AM


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