MDE20283 - Bronze Age bowl barrows on Cosgate Hill (Monument)


A group of three or four apparently undisturbed heather covered bowl barrows. They have alternatively been interpreted as upcast mounds, although there is no attendant pit or disturbance.

Please read the .

Type and Period (2)

Protected Status

Full Description

A group of four bowl barrows. A at SS 7922 4873, 7 paces in diameter and 1 foot high. B at SS 7925 4871, 8 paces in diameter and 2 feet high. C at SS 7927 4870, 5 paces in diameter and 9 inches high, and D at SS 7928 4869, 9 paces in diameter and 2 feet high. All were found by Grinsell in September 1961. [1] Four, apparently undisturbed, heather covered bowl barrows, there are no traces of surrounding ditches, but a depression between A and B may be the result of soil scrape. 'A' SS 7925 4873. Diameter 8.0 metres, height 0.6 metres. 'B' SS 7927 248718: Diameter 5.5 metres, height 0.5 metres. 'C' SS 79274 48712: Diameter 4.5 metres; height 0.4 metres, contiguous on northwestern side with 'B'. 'D' SS 7927 4870: Diameter 9.0 metres; height 0.7 metres. Surveyed at 1:2500. [2] A group of three amorphous mounds, centred at SS 792 487, are as described by [2]. They are unlikely to be prehistoric barrows, and are reminiscent of upcast mounds, although there is no attendant pit or disturbance. [3] Three possible barrows lie to the west of the modern car park, along the line of the trackway, overlooking Ashton Cleave at about 335 metres above Ordnance Datum. Feature C, SS 7927 4871, is a compacted turf covered stony mound 5.3 metres in diameter and 1.1 metre high covered in gorse and heather. Feature B, SS 7927 4872, is a stony mound 4.7 metres in diameter and 0.8 metres high; the feature is sharp on the northern edge. Feature A, SS 7925 4873, is a heather and gorse covered stony mound 6 metres in diameter and 0.8 metres high; possibly flat topped or disturbed. The consolidated nature of the features would suggest they are more likely to be prehistoric barrows than upcast mounds. The features were recorded at 1:2500 scale using GPS equipment 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. N.B. The NRHE data for this record states that Feature A in the report is Feature C and Feature C in the report is Feature A. The above labels for the features are those taken from the report directly. The mapping for this record is taken from this report. [4-7] The three barrows mentioned by [5] were included in the Scheduling for Bronze Age barrows on Cosgate Hill in August 2016. It was noted that "No external ditches have been identified; however, it is likely that some of the barrows will include the buried remains of a surrounding ditch, from which the construction material was derived." [8]

Sources/Archives (8)

  • <1> Article in serial: Grinsell, L.V.. 1970. The Barrows of North Devon. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 28. 116.
  • <2> Unpublished document: STONE, J.W.. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, 26 September 1974.
  • <3> Unpublished document: Wilson-North, R.. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 16 November 1993.
  • <4> Unpublished document: JAMIESON, EJ. Field Investigators Comments. English Heritage Field Investigation, 2002.
  • <5>XY Report: Jamieson, E.. 2002. Cosgate Hill, Countisbury, Devon. [Mapped features: #46918 Feature C, p16, SS 74 NE11; #46919 Feature B, SS 74 NE11; #46920 Feature A, SS 74 NE11]
  • <6> Archive: English Heritage. National Monuments Record / AMIE / Monarch / National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry - viewable via Pastscape. Reference 35133.
  • <7> Verbal communication: Various. 1993-. Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Team staff comments. Catherine Dove, 20 January 2021.
  • <8> Website: Historic England. 2015-. National Heritage List for England website. Reference 1002567.



Grid reference Centred SS 7926 4872 (20m by 20m)
Map sheet SS74NE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

External Links (0)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 12227
  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 12228
  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 12229
  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 12230
  • Devon SMR: SS74NE/518
  • Devon SMR: SS74NE/519
  • Devon SMR: SS74NE/520
  • Devon SMR: SS74NE/521
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE1230
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20280
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20281
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20282
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 NE11
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 35133

Record last edited

Jan 20 2021 10:38AM


Your feedback is welcome. If you can provide any new information about this record, please contact us.