MSO6716 - Bendels Barrows, Exford Common (Monument)


The remains of two Bronze Age round barrows. One measures 22 metres in diameter and 0.4 metres high. The second is now a platform, 13 metres by 15 metres and 0.2 metres high, but may have had an original diameter of 20 metres.

Please read the Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record .

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

(SS 8549 4106 & SS 8537 4093) Bendels Barrows (NR). [1] Exford 3. At SS 8535 4093 is a mutilated bowl barrow 25 paces across by 2 feet high. Exford 4. At SS 8548 4106 is a bowl barrow 12 paces across by 2 feet high with an OS trig point on top. [2] Scheduled. [3] An amorphous low mound is all that indicates the site of Grinsell's 3. The perimeter of 4 can be traced but no mound survives. Published surveys (1/2500) revised. [4] Exford 3 not located by SS Reviser. Exford 4 extant. [5] SS 85384093. Exford 3. SS 85484106. Exford 4. Bendels Barrows visited by Grinsell April 1952 and listed as in [2]2 except that the diameter of Exford 4 is given as 14 paces. They are named Bendel's Barrows on the Ordnance Survey 1 inch 1809 map. [2,6] SS 854 409 - SS 855 411. Bendel's Barrows, round barrows. Scheduled. [7] [SS 8549 4107] Bendel's Barrows (NR) [Only one barrow shown]. [8] Two round barrows, both of turf construction, are situated on a broad hilltop at about 460 metres above sea level, but due to their very low profile, neither can be seen from a distance. SS 8538 4092. Exford 3. Not published on O.S. maps after 1965, this barrow has a diameter of 22 metres and is 0.4 metres high. A perimeter cropmark suggests that it might originally have been 26 metres across. The sides and top have been dug into by peat cutters whose former activities are much in evidence all over the hilltop, and a cutting for 12 metres around the northern side has produced a ditch, 5 metres wide and 0.2 metres deep. SS 8549 4107. Exford 4. A cropmark suggests the possibility of an original diameter of 20 metres but there is now only a platform measuring 13 metres across east to west, and 15 metres north to south. It is 0.2 metres high, with a mound 6 metres in diameter and 0.5 metres high set off-centre and towards the southern part of the platform. It is uncertain whether there has been turf digging around this barrow or not but the structure itself certainly seems unmolested. Neither barrow is to be classified as a disc barrow (the platform and mound is a fairly common southwestern type), and other field observations and descriptions have been transposed (see [15], [16], [17]). Both are known locally as Bendels Barrows. [9-11] The remains of two round barrows on Exford Common, known as Bendels Barrows, are visible as earthworks on aerial photographs of the 1940s onwards. Using the terms employed by the above authorities, the Exford 3 barrow is centred on circa SS 85374092 and on aerial photographs of 1947 appears to be circa 22 metres in diameter. It is less visible on later aerial photographs. The Exford 4 barrow is centred on circa SS 85494107 and is visible as an earthwork 13 metres in diameter on aerial photographs of 1947, although as suggested above, disturbed vegetation within 5 metres of the mound may indicate a cropmark suggestive of a berm, potentially extending the monuments original diameter to 22 metres. Damage to the mounds by peat cutting is not apparent on the aerial photographs, but extensive turbaries are evident in the immediate area. [12-14] (Exford 3) Possible disc barrow with mutilated central mound. Covered with heather and bracken and not subject to erosion. (Exford 4) Possible disc barrow, the mound and berm are covered in heather and grass, and the ditch is slightly boggy. The whole barrow is in good condition. [15] (Exford 3) Roughly circular mound 11 metres in diameter between 0.3 and 0.75 metres high. Vegetation cover blighted by swaling. No apparent disturbance. (Exford 4) Disc barrow 38 feet in diameter with an outer circular bank of 66 feet in diameter. Shows as slight rise in heather covered ground - less than 0.3 metres high. No apparent disturbance. [16] (Exford 3) Scheduled as AM 171a. (Exford 4) Scheduled as AM 171b. [17] The Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment of 2009 gave the site a survival score of 7, with the northern barrow (Exford 4) scoring 0 and the southern barrow (Exford 3) scoring 7. [20] The site was surveyed in April 2015 as part of the 2015 Exmoor Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment. It was given a survival score of 0, with both barrows scoring 0. [21] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [22]

Sources/Archives (22)

  • <1> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1962. 6 Inch Map: 1962. 1:10560.
  • <2> Article in serial: Grinsell, L.V.. 1969. Somerset Barrows. Part I: West and South. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. 113. 16, 32.
  • <3> Index: Ministry of Works. 1961. List of Ancient Monuments of England and Wales. P. 81.
  • <4> Unpublished document: PALMER, JP. Mid 1960s. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, F1, 24 June 1965.
  • <5> Map: Large Scale / Small Scale Map Revisers Comment (OS Archaeology Division pre-1983, RCHME post-1983) . SS Reviser, May 1971.
  • <6> Article in serial: Gray, H.St.G. 1931. Rude Stone Monuments of Exmoor (Somerset Portion): part III. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeology and Natural History Society. 77. 2. 78-82.
  • <7> Index: Department of the Environment (IAM). 1978. List of Ancient Monuments of England and Wales 1978. 117.
  • <8> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1978. 1:10,000 Map, 1978. 1:10,000.
  • <9> Technical drawing: Quinnell, N.V.. 1987. Bendels Barrows/ink survey . 1:500. Permatrace. Pen and Ink.
  • <10> Unpublished document: Quinnell, N.V.. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, F2, 19 June 1987.
  • <11> Collection: Pattison, P., Quinnell, N.V., Fletcher, M. and Sainsbury, I.. 1987-1988. RCHME: Exmoor Pilot Survey, SS 84 SE, Somerset.
  • <12> Aerial photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946 -1948. Vertical Aerial Photography. CPE/UK/1980 F20 4166-7 (11 April 1947).
  • <13> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/73109 948-9 (29 April 1973).
  • <14> Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 84 SE. MD002185.
  • <15> Unassigned: July 1976. National Trust site visit form.
  • <16> Report: Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission. Field Monument Warden Report.
  • <17> Verbal communication: Various. 1900-. Somerset County Council / South West Heritage Trust staff comments. E Dennison, Somerset County Council, 26 March 1984.
  • <18> Survey: Western Archaeological Trust. 1980s. Exmoor Aerial Photograph Survey. 8540.
  • <19> Aerial photograph: September 19. HSL.UK.71-178 Run 85. 9332.
  • <20> Report: Bray, L.S.. 2010. Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment 2009, Exmoor National Park.
  • <21> Report: Gent, T. and Manning, P.. 2015. Exmoor National Park Scheduled Monument Condition Survey 2015. Archaedia.
  • <22> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 35944, Extant 2 March 2022.

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO142
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO11253
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO11254
  • Local List Status (Rejected)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 84 SE4
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • National Trust HER Record
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 35944
  • Scheduled Monument (County Number): SOMER 171a
  • Scheduled Monument (County Number): SOMER 171b
  • Site of Special Scientific Interest
  • Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 33594
  • Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 33595



Grid reference Centred SS 8543 4100 (152m by 186m) (2 map features)
Map sheet SS84SE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (4)

Record last edited

Mar 2 2022 3:52PM


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