MDE20279 - Possible Bronze Age barrow on Cosgate Hill (Monument)


A large subcircular feature has been interpreted as a Bronze Age barrow, but has been heavily robbed.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

A grass covered mound 20 paces in diameter and 1/2ft high, visited by Grinsell in September 1961 and suggested by him to be a truncated cairn. [1] SS 7918 4879. Mound shown but not described. [2] Tumulus (NR). [3] A former round barrow, diameter 22.0 metres, which has been completely gutted to below ground level by entry from the lower southern side. It now consists of a turf covered rim up to 4.0 metres wide and varying between 0.4 metres and 0.7 metres high, with an internal depth of 1.0 metres. An exposed section on the eastern internal side shows it to have been constructed of small stones and earth; classification as the site of a barrow would seem more correct. Published 1:2500 survey revised. [4] A circular and irregular hollow on the southern crest of Cosgate Hill at SS 7918 4879. The feature measures some 14.8 metres north to south by 18.6 metres. It is cut into the natural ground surface to a depth of 1.2 metres on the northern side, where it is defined by a sharp scarp, and to a lesser extent on the west and east where the scarp is topped by a bank 0.4 metres high. The southern side appears disturbed. The interpretation of this feature as a barrow or former barrow is unlikely. Its quarry like appearance might suggest the removal of material, but its circular shape argues against this. It is perhaps best seen in the context of the other anomalous features on Cosgate Hill, to which functions and dates are not readily ascribed (see MDE1222 and MMO71). [5] A large subcircular feature, SS 7917 4879, lies in an area of heather and gorse just below the summit of Cosgate Hill, at about 340 metres above Ordnance Datum. It takes the form of a large hollow, 17.8 metres in diameter and up to 1.2 metres deep at its northeastern side. A turf covered stony bank, 1 metre wide and 0.3 metres high, runs round the lip of the hollow and is most prominent on north and east sides. The feature has been quarried to below ground level, most evident in the northern half of the hollow, and a large mound of spoil lies to the southeast. The presence of the bank round the lip of the hollow would suggest that the feature is more likely to be the remains of a large prehistoric barrow which has been almost comprehensively destroyed by later quarrying. The feature was recorded at 1:200 scale as part of an archaeological survey of the Cosgate Hill area. The survey was undertaken by the Exeter office of English Heritage at the request of the Exmoor National Park Authority. A report was compiled as part of the survey work and is available from the NMRC, Swindon. [6,7] The feature is marked on the 25 inch 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map and is labelled "Tumulus". [8] The feature is not marked on 2021 MasterMap data. [9] The barrow was included in the Scheduling for Bronze Age barrows on Cosgate Hill in August 2016. The listing notes that "The feature has been quarried to below ground level and it may be a heavily-robbed barrow, however, other sources have suggested its function and date cannot be readily ascribed." [10] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [11]

Sources/Archives (12)

  • --- Unpublished document: Blaylock, Shirley. 2021. Scheduled Monument Management Plan for Linear barrow and cairn cemetery on Cosgate Hill circa 240m north-west of County Gate, Countisbury, Exmoor National Park.
  • <1> Article in serial: Grinsell, L.V.. 1970. The Barrows of North Devon. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 28. 1116.
  • <2> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1962. 6 Inch Map: 1962. 1:10560.
  • <3> Map: Ordnance Survey. Various. Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date) . 25 inch, CSL.
  • <4> Unpublished document: STONE, J.W.. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, 24 September 1974.
  • <5> Unpublished document: Wilson-North, R.. Various. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 16 November 1993.
  • <6> Unpublished document: JAMIESON, EJ. Field Investigators Comments. English Heritage Field Investigation, 2002.
  • <7> Report: Jamieson, E.. 2002. Cosgate Hill, Countisbury, Devon.
  • <8>XY Map: Ordnance Survey. 1854-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. [Mapped feature: #46921 ]
  • <9> Map: Ordnance Survey. 2021. MasterMap data. 1:2,500.
  • <10> Website: Historic England. 2015-. National Heritage List for England website. Reference 1002567.
  • <11> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 35130, Extant 6 December 2021.

External Links (0)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 12226
  • Devon SMR: SS74NE/517
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE1229
  • Local Heritage List Status (Unassessed)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 NE10
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 35130



Grid reference Centred SS 2792 1488 (22m by 20m)
Map sheet SS21SE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (3)

Record last edited

Mar 13 2024 5:18PM


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