MEM22809 - Bronze Age cairn north of Dunkery Beacon (Monument)

Summary

Known as Cutcombe 5b, this is a Bronze Age cairn in the form of a circular patch of close packed stones. Its eastern side has been destroyed by the intrusion of two large and relatively modern pits.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

SS 8912 4162. Vowles C, Cutcombe 5b, north of Dunkery Beacon, diameter 17 metres. Vowles claimed traces of four concentric circles, which are shown on his plan but only one uproght stone 0.2 metres high remains. Aerial photographs taken on 20 April 1982 show the site to be enclosed within a roughly circular cropmark giving an overall diameter of around 60 metres, suggestive of a ceremonial monument or a round barrow of bell or disc type, if not the result of later activities. The circle around the site has probably since been removed by vandals. [1-4] SS 8914 4161. Cutcombe 5b. A circular patch of close packed stones immediately north of MEM22803. It has an approximate diameter of 20 metres and is flat, save for 20 metres of the northern perimeter, which is demarcated by a short but distinct scarp 0.2 metres high, and a 5 metre length of residual bank in the south east quadrant. This, of compacted stones, is 1.5 metres wide and 0.1 metres high, but is coincident with the proposed diameter. The eastern side of the cairn has been destroyed by the intrusion of two large and relatively modern pits. Vowles [1] noted four concentric circles in this cairn, and a relic of these may be a single orthostat, 0.2 metres high and tightly packed, 5 metres from the centre in the southeast quadrant. The area has been used for bonfires to judge from the quantity of burnt nails scattered over it, and has been so trampled that holes resulting from the removal of stones would soon be infilled. However, the stones may have been of a size suitable for the "shelter" constructions on MEM22806. [5,6] Cutcombe 5b is a profoundly disturbed Bronze Age burial cairn on the northern side of the main cairn on the summit (MEM22803). It is a low flat-topped circular mound, defined by a sharp and curving slope on the northern side. To the east the rim of the cairn has been removed by quarries. The west and southern extents of the cairn are no longer traceable. [7] The five cairns on the summit of Dunkery Beacon were surveyed in August 2004 in response to a request by The National Trust to cover some of the monuments to protect them from further visitor damage. The new survey depicts the cairns as they were in October 2004, although even during the short time at the site, changes were observed in the state of the stony mounds due to visitor actions. [8] The cairn was transcribed as closely as possible from aerial photographs as part of the Exmoor National Mapping Programme survey, but in spite of its size it is not clearly visible, due in part to the vegetation cover of this area and the erosion caused by visitors to the site. [9-16] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [17]

Sources/Archives (17)

  • <1> Monograph: Vowles, A.. 1939. Exmoor: Dunkery. Unknown.
  • <2> Article in serial: Grinsell, L.V.. 1987. Somerset Barrows: Revisions 1971-87. Somerset Archaeological & Natural History Society. 131. 13, 23 and notes for publication.
  • <3> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RCHM SS8941/1/1098 (20 April 1982).
  • <4> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. ENPA 2249 (20 April 1982).
  • <5> Technical drawing: Quinnell, N.V.. 1987. Dunkery Beacon/ink survey . 1:1000. Permatrace. Pen and Ink.
  • <6> Unpublished document: Quinnell, N.V.. Field Investigators Comments. Site visit, F2, 5 August 1987.
  • <7> Report: Cutler, G.. 2001. Dunkery Beacon: Survey of Prehistoric Burial Mounds.
  • <8> Report: Fletcher, M.. 2004. A new archaeological survey of: the summit cairns on Dunkery Beacon. English Heritage.
  • <9> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. SS 8941/3 (15431/17) (15 May 1996).
  • <10> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. SS 8941/6 (15431/20) (15 May 1996).
  • <11> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. SS 8941/9 (15450/13) (15 May 1996).
  • <12> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. SS 8941/32-3 (24028/17-18) (9 August 2005).
  • <13> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR RAF CPE/UK/1980 (F20) 4171-2(11 April 1947).
  • <14> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/73109 956-7 (29 April 1973).
  • <15> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. ENPA Infra-red 2248-9 (20 April 1982).
  • <16> Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 84 SE. MD002185.
  • <17> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 35990, Extant 8 March 2022.

Map

Location

Grid reference SS 8914 4161 (point) Approximate
Map sheet SS84SE
Civil Parish CUTCOMBE, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (4)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park Authority HER number: MSO9187
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 84 SE14
  • National Trust HER Record
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 35990
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 15350

Record last edited

Mar 8 2022 1:48PM

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