MSO6807 - Two Barrows: A group of four Bronze Age barrows on a ridge at Hangley Cleave (Monument)

Summary

A group of four Bronze Age barrows on the summit of the ridge between Hangley Cleave and Fyldon Common. The barrows are across the Somerset / Devon border and shown as "Two Barrows" on mapping.

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Type and Period (4)

Protected Status

Full Description

(SS 74753620 & SS 74863622) Two Barrows (NR) (SS 74713631) Tumuli (NR) (One of two, the other in Devon). [1] Exmoor No 16, SS 74713621, a bowl barrow 22 paces diameter and 2 feet high. Exmoor No 17, SS 74753620, a bowl barrow with Ordnance Survey trig pillar on top. Exmoor No 18, SS 74863622, a bowl barrow 18 paces diameter and 1 foot high, small hollow in centre. Exmoor 16, 17 and 18. Bowl barrows listed, details as noted by Grinsell, among Two Barrows group. Exmoor 16 visited by Grinsell 23 May 1961, Exmoor 17 and 18 visited April 1949. Named Twoburroughs in 1632. [2] Grinsell's 16 and 18 are both truncated bowl barrows. 17 is a bowl barrow with a hollow in the centre. An excavation trench runs across it from southwest to northeast. Published survey 1:2500 revised. [3] Scheduled as AM 170a. Prominent mound close to the road, marked as a viewing point, public access allowed. Footpath on the top, marked line of rushes round the base of the mound. 1.9 metres high and 16 metres diameter. Scheduled as AM 170b. Badly mutilated, uneven, height 0.75 metres and c.17 metres diameter. Nearest the road. Scheduled as AM 170c. 0.5 metres high and c.13 metres diameter, most easterly of the group. [4] SS 7478 3622. A group of three barrows is situated about 482 metres above Ordnance Datum, on the summit of the ridge between Hangley Cleave on the north and Fyldon Common on the south. The road from Kinsford Gate to Sandyway Cross crosses the southern part of the ridge and the Devon/Somerset County Boundary runs along the northern side of this minor road. The fairly level summit of the ridge is covered with rough grass and reeds; there are excellent views; southwards across to Dartmoor, westwards to Barnstaple Bay, north to the Chains ridge and eastwards to Dunkery Beacon. SS 74702 36210. Barrow A, nearest the road, is visible as a rather amorphous turf-covered earth and stone flat-topped mound about 21 metres northwest/southeast by 13 metres and 0.9 metres in maximum height. The southwest side has been truncated by the boundary wall, its ditch and the road, so the barrow is not complete. There are at least three quarry holes in the interior of the barrow which suggest robbing, possibly for the wall. There in no evidence of a surrounding ditch to the barrow. The barrow was used as a marker for the County Boundary and the Exmoor Forest [6]. SS 74743 36208. Barrow B, the most apparent of the group, is evident as a mutilated earthen mound varying in diameter from about 18 metres northwest/southeast to 19.8 metres northeast/southwest and 2.1 metres in maximum height. The barrow has a central 'excavation' hollow, 2 metres in diameter and 0.4 metres deep. Spoil from this hollow has been dumped around the summit creating an irregular false top, which obscures the original flat top, which must have been about 1.7 metres high. As well as the central hollow an excavation trench, 2 metres wide and 0.8 metres deep, has been cut into the barrow from the westsouthwest. A similar though less well defined linear hollow, 1.5 metres wide, 0.4 metres deep through the east side suggests a continuation for this excavation across the barrow. An apparent backfilled trench, 1 metre wide and 0.2 metres deep, in the northnortheast may be no more than a path over the barrow. The trenches do not appear to have sectioned the ditch, which is visible as a band of reeds about 2.5 metres wide around most of the perimeter. The barrow has been used as a viewpoint and there is some erosion caused by walkers up its south side. On the 1889 [7] and 1904 [8] Ordnance Survey maps a Triangulation Point is shown on the southeast summit of the barrow, although there is now no evidence of one as stated by Grinsell. SS 74856 36225. Barrow C, the most easterly, is visible as a low earthen grass and reed-covered flat-topped mound varying in diameter from 15.5 metres northeast/southwest up to 16.5 metres east/west and 0.5 metres in maximum height. The southern half of the barrow is mainly covered by dense reeds. A small hollow, about 2 metres in diameter and 0.4 metres deep, near the centre in the northwest suggests it has been dug and the spoil spread around giving a rather uneven surface. There is no trace of an accompanying ditch, however probing revealed softer peat around the periphery suggesting that there was one, which has now become completely silted. Barrows A and C are clearly disc type barrows, whilst B is distinctly of the flat-topped bowl type. On the 1889 [7] and 1904 [8] editions of the Ordnance Survey maps the name 'Two Barrows' appears between barrows B and C. This has, unfortunately, given the name to the whole group which is a misnomer as it actually contains four barrows; A, B & C, as above, on the Somerset side of the boundary, and a fourth barrow at SS 7463 3621 on the Devon side. [5] The barrows described above are clearly visible on aerial photographs as earthwork mounds either side of the Devon/Somerset County boundary. [10] In private ownership. [11] The field is reverting to rough pasture. The barrow (Devon) can be seen from the road. No change has been observed. [15] North Molton No 12, SS 74743621, a bowl barrow 19 paces diameter and 1 1/2 feet high.Visited by Rainbird Clarke in 1939 and Grinsell in 1949. [16] North Molton 12 is a bowl barrow 19 metres in diameter and 0.6 metres high with an 0.3 metre deep mutilation near the centre. [17] A Bronze Age barrow is visible on aerial photographs as an earthwork on the northeast edge of Fyldon Common, close to the Devon / Somerset border. Centred at approximately SS 7463 3621, the barrow measures approximately 20 metres in diameter. Three additional barrows lie nearby, the group known as Two Barrows and it is probable that this barrow was part of the same group. It was probably recorded separately as it happened to lie on the Devon side of the border, unlike the other three, which are in Somerset. [18] The Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment of 2009 gave the site a survival score of 8. The Devon barrow scored 8, Somerset A scored 7, Somerset B scored 3 and Somerset C scored 0. [19] The fourth barrow, which lies in Devon, was previously recorded separately but is actually part of the same group. [20] The site was surveyed in March 2015 as part of the 2015 Exmoor Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment. It was given a survival score of 8. The Devon barrow scored 7, Somerset A scored 7, Somerset B scored 3 and Somerset C scored 0. [21]

Sources/Archives (22)

  • --- Report: Gillard, M.J.. 2018. Hangley Cleave – Two Barrows – Exmoor Mires.
  • <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. P. 17, 33.
  • <3> Unpublished document: PALMER, JP. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, 31 August 1965.
  • <4> Report: Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission. Field Monument Warden Report. S Weston, Field Monument Warden site visit..
  • <5> Unpublished document: Sainsbury, I.S.S. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 23 August 1995.
  • <6> Monograph: MacDermot, E.T.. 1973. The History of the Forest of Exmoor. David and Charles Limited. Revised Edition. Map P.181-182.
  • <7> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1889 (Surveyed 1888) Sheet Somerset 44:16..
  • <8> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1902-1907. County Series, 2nd Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. Sheet Somerset 44:16.
  • <9> Index: English Heritage. 1913-. Schedule of Monuments. Somerset County No: 170, 24.
  • <10> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/96559 11-12 (7 May 1996).
  • <11> Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information or Staff Comments. Somerset County Council Planning.
  • <12> Survey: Western Archaeological Trust. 1980s. Exmoor Aerial Photograph Survey. 7436.
  • <13> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Oblique Aerial Photograph. HSL.UK.71-167 Run 75. 7606 (September 19??).
  • <14> Aerial photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946 -1948. Vertical Aerial Photography. LHL CPE.UK.1980. 4446 (April 1947).
  • <15> Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information or Staff Comments. Timms, S. + Bovey, 9 June 1982.
  • <16> Article in serial: Grinsell, L.V.. 1970. The Barrows of North Devon. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 28. P. 126.
  • <17> Unpublished document: Fletcher, M.J.. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, 7 March 1973.
  • <18> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/96559 11-12 (7 May 1996).
  • <19> Report: Bray, L.S.. 2010. Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment 2009, Exmoor National Park.
  • <20> Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information or Staff Comments. F Glover, 7 October 2010.
  • <21> Report: Gent, T. and Manning, P.. 2015. Exmoor National Park Scheduled Monument Condition Survey 2015.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 7474 3621 (247m by 31m) (Estimated from sources)
Map sheet SS73NW
Civil Parish NORTH MOLTON, NORTH DEVON, DEVON
Civil Parish EXMOOR, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (4)

External Links (2)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 712
  • Devon SMR: SS73NW/521
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE1198
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO59
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO10879
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO10880
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO10881
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 73 NW12
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 73 NW2
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 35011
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 35043
  • Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 33018
  • Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 33019
  • Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 33020

Record last edited

May 8 2018 10:34AM

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