MSO6799 - Bronze Age Sherdon Barrows (Monument)


Two Bronze Age bowl barrows on Sherdon.

Please read the Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record .

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Exmoor No 20, SS 7919 3550, is 19 paces in diameter and 2 feet high. The barrow has a hollow in the centre. Exmoor No 22, SS 7941 3548, is mutilated and was first discovered from aerial photographs. It is 11 paces in diameter and 2 feet high. Exmoor 20 and 22 were visited by Grinsell on the 27th Sept 1961 and 23rd April 1962. [1] Exmoor 20 and 22 are known as Sherdon Barrows (together with MSO6798), and so called in Chase records of 1794 and 1819. [2] Grinsell's Number 20, at SS 7921 3554 is a truncated bowl barrow 0.6 metres high. Number 22, at SS 7943 3548, has been almost completely destroyed. A small oval mound 0.6 metres high is all that remains though the original extent of the barrow can be traced as a crop mark. Surveyed at 1/2500. [3] Number 20 - SS 7921 3554 Tumulus (NR) Number 22 - SS 7943 3548 Tumulus (NR). [4] Grinsell No 20, centred at SS 7921 3554 on open moorland, consists of a truncated, turf and reed covered stony mound 16.5 metres in diameter (with a summit diameter of 13 metres) and 0.4 metres high. A narrow slot has been driven through the south edge and opens out into a rectangular pit, measuring 3.5 metres by 6.5 metres and 0.4 metres deep, to the south of the centre of the mound. This and the truncated form of the mound are the result of stone robbing activity. Grinsell No 22, centred at SS 7943 3548 in improved pasture, consists of a turf covered oval mound measuring 7.3 metres north-south by 9.5 metres and 0.3 metres high. Around the mound is a swathe of disturbed ground which probably corresponds with the "cropmark" mentioned by source 3. This presumably represents the former extent of the barrow, and would have given a diameter of 13.2 metres. [5] The mounds described above are clearly visible on aerial photographs. The mounds lie in an area of extensive peat cutting. [6,7] Riley notes only one mound and describes it as a flat topped circular mound some 16 metres in diameter and up to 0.6 metres high lies on the east side of Horsen Hill. This is one of the three Bronze Age funerary monuments on the summit of Horsen Hill. A reed filled hollow in the top of the mound is probably the remains of an unrecorded excavation. [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] The two barrows are labelled "tumulus" on the 2021 MasterMap data. [12]

Sources/Archives (12)

  • <1> Article in serial: Grinsell, L.V.. 1969. Somerset Barrows. Part I: West and South. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. 113. 17, 33.
  • <2> Monograph: Collyns, C.P. 1902. The Chase of the Wild Red Deer. 221, 249.
  • <3> Unpublished document: PALMER, JP. Mid 1960s. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, 2 September 1965.
  • <4> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1980. 1:10000 Map, 1980. 1:10000.
  • <5> Unpublished document: Wilson-North, R.. Various. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 12 October 1994.
  • <6> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF 543/2821 (F61) 167-68 (27 April 1964).
  • <7> Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 73 NE. MD002190.
  • <8> Aerial photograph: 1947. LHL CPE/UK/1980. 4367.
  • <9> Unpublished document: McDonnell, R.. 1980. Gazetteer of Sites in the Exmoor National Park Identified through Aerial Photography. SS7935.
  • <10> Report: Riley, H.. 2016. Archaeological walkover survey: Horsen, Exmoor. 7.
  • <11> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 34995, Extant 16 November 2021.
  • <12>XY Map: Ordnance Survey. 2021. MasterMap data. 1:2,500. [Mapped features: #42426 ; #42427 ]

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO46
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO10874
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO10875
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO12001
  • Local List Status (Unassessed)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 73 NE5
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 34995
  • Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 33012
  • Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 33013



Grid reference Centred SS 7932 3551 (249m by 85m) (2 map features)
Map sheet SS73NE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (3)

Related Events/Activities (4)

Record last edited

Nov 16 2021 4:13PM


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