MSO10922 - Prehistoric or post-medieval mound at Elsworthy (Monument)


An earthern mound identified during a field visit in 1962 has been variously suggested to be a prehistoric barrow or cairn, but may also be a post-medieval clearance mound, a spoil heap or a material dump for nearby features.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

SS 8234 4159. Bowl barrow (Exmoor 10), 6 paces in diameter and 1.5 feet high. Found by Grinsell 24th April 1962 after heath had been swaled, but listed as 'doubtful or rejected'. [1] A grass covered mound that may be a small bowl barrow or alternatively, a spoil heap. It is within 15 metres of 19th Century features, close to a track and and it is possible that it is the remains of a heap of material collected to build these features. It may also be a spoil heap from nearby mining activity. No 10 at SS 8234 4156 is 0.5 metres high (see GPs AO/65/138/3 & 4). Surveyed at 1:2500. [2] One of three predominantly earthen mounds to the west of Larkbarrow Corner (see also MSO10920 and MSO10921). At SS 8234 4156 is a prominent circular mound 6.5 metres in diameter and 0.5 metres high. It is covered in heather, moss and grass, and despite some surface stone, appears to be largely earthen. The mound is topped by a central tussocky lump, 1 metre in diameter. The mounds are probably of post-medieval date, either connected with agricultural improvement or with the proposed Porlock to Simonsbath Railway (MSO7906). [3] The mound, centred SS 8234 4156, may well represent the remains of post-medieval activity, as suggested by [3], but may equally be a small prehistoric burial cairn - it lies close to the site of Larkbarrow Corner where tradition has it that a barrow formed a boundary marker of the former Royal Forest of Exmoor. It is in good condition. [4] The mound was recorded using differential GPS as part of an archaeological survey of the Larkbarrow area. The survey was undertaken by the Exeter office of English Heritage at the request of the Exmoor National Park Authority. A client report was produced as part of the survey work and is available from the NMRC, Swindon. [5] The mound is not depicted on the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map but is shown on modern MasterMap data. [6,7] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [8]

Sources/Archives (8)

  • <1> Article in serial: Grinsell, L V. 1969. Somerset Barrows: part 1. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. 113. 32.
  • <2> Unpublished document: PITCHER, GHP. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, 28 June 1965.
  • <3> Unpublished document: Wilson-North, R.. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 11 December 1995.
  • <4> Unpublished document: JAMIESON, EJ. Field Investigators Comments. 2001, English Heritage Field Investigation.
  • <5> Report: Jamieson, E. 2001. Larkbarrow Farm, Exmoor, Somerset. English Heritage survey report.
  • <6> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500.
  • <7> Map: Ordnance Survey. 2016. MasterMap.
  • <8> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 36224, Extant 13 July 2021.



Grid reference Centred SS 8234 4156 (17m by 16m) Surveyed
Map sheet SS84SW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

Related Events/Activities (1)

External Links (0)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO6857
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 84 SW8
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 36224
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 33061

Record last edited

Jul 13 2021 2:39PM


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