MSO6863 - Bronze Age barrow on Great Tom's Hill (Monument)


A Bronze Age round barrow is visible as a turf covered stoney mound, with a slight surrounding hollow probably indicating a ditch. A subrectangular pit cut into the western half of the barrow is most likely of World War Two date. Summary from record MMO176: A turf-covered stoney mound on Great Toms Hill is likely to be the remains of a prehistoric round barrow of Bronze Age date. It is has been surveyed both in the field and transcribed from aerial photographs, and can be seen to measure approximately 13 metres in diameter and stand 0.5 metres high. It is surrounded by a slight hollowing filled with reeds which probably indicates an enclosing ditch. A sub-rectangular pit of 2.3m by 1.4m by 0.3m in the western half of the barrow is most likely of World War II date.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

At SS 8040 4315 is a barrow 15 paces across and 3 feet high. Listed by Grinsell as Exmoor 11. Visited by Peter Taylor in 1958 but previously found by AD Hallam. [1,2] This is a bowl barrow. It is at SS 8050 4311 and is 0.6 metres high. (See GPs AO0/65/175/3 and 4 Stereo pair). Surveyed at 1:2500 [3,4] SS 807432. Round barrow on Great Tom's Hill. Scheduled. [5] A prehistoric round barrow centred at SS 8040 4315. It consists of a turf covered stony mound 12.5 metres in diameter and 0.5 metres high. Around the foot of the barrow on its north and northeast side is a slight hollowing emphasised by reed growth, which might be interpreted as a ditch. A subrectangular pit 2.3 metres by 1.4 metres and 0.3 metres deep has been dug into the western half of the summit. It is probably associated with World War II activity in the area, as is a circular pit, 7 metres from the barrow on its northwest side. [6] A mound is visible as an earthwork on aerial photographs of the 1940s onwards, on the southwest facing slopes of Great Toms Hill, Exmoor parish, at approximately SS 80494311. The earthwork is likely to be the remains of a barrow of Bronze Age date, roughly 13 metres in diameter. It has been transcribed from aerial photographs as part of the Exmoor National Mapping Programme survey. [7-9] Irregular circular mound 17 paces diameter and 1 to 1.5 metres high. Flat topped with shell hole in north-west quadrant showing medium sized stones. Vegetation gives an indication of a surrounding ditch. Prismatic compass fix at SS 8048 4309 rather than the Ordnance Survey Archaeological Division national grid reference. [10] 0.75 metres high and 15 metres diameter, some rush grass and stones on the surface. [11] This could possibly be Longcombe Barrow which is referred to in the 19th Century perambulations. (see MSO6879). [13] The Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment of 2009 gave the site a survival score of 0. [14] The site was surveyed in May 2015 as part of the 2015 Exmoor Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment. It was given a survival score of 0. [15] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [16] The feature is depicted and labelled ""Tumulus"" on 2021 MasterMap data. [17]

Sources/Archives (17)

  • <1> Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information. AD Hallam, Somerset County Museum, Taunton.
  • <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. 32.
  • <3> Photograph: Pitcher, S.. 1965. BOWL BARROW AT EXMOOR FROM NORTH. OS65/F175/4. B/W. MICROFILM.
  • <4> Unpublished document: PITCHER, GHP. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, F1, 7 July 1965.
  • <5> Index: Department of the Environment (IAM). 1978. List of Ancient Monuments of England and Wales 1978. P. 117.
  • <6> Unpublished document: Wilson-North, R.. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 14 December 1995.
  • <7> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR RAF 543/2821 (F65) 164-5 (27 April 1964).
  • <8> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/73109 864-5 (29 April 1973).
  • <9> Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 84 SW. MD002184.
  • <10> Unpublished document: Somerset County Council. Various. Somerset HER parish files - Exmoor records. PRN 33048.
  • <11> Report: Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission. Field Monument Warden Report.
  • <12> Report: McDonnell, R.. 1985. Recommendations for the Management of Archaeological Sites in the Exmoor National Park at Warren, Pinford, Tom's Hill and Hayes Allotment. P. 54 (site 52).
  • <13> Verbal communication: Various. 1900-. Somerset County Council / South West Heritage Trust staff comments. E Dennison, Somerset County Council, 23 September 1986.
  • <14> Report: Bray, L.S.. 2010. Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment 2009, Exmoor National Park.
  • <15> Report: Gent, T. and Manning, P.. 2015. Exmoor National Park Scheduled Monument Condition Survey 2015. Archaedia.
  • <16> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 36255, Extant 12 July 2021.
  • <17>XY Map: Ordnance Survey. 2021. MasterMap data. 1:2,500. [Mapped feature: #47357 ]



Grid reference Centred SS 8049 4311 (19m by 19m)
Map sheet SS84SW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (4)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO176
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO10909
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 84 SW19
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 36255
  • Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 33048

Record last edited

Jul 26 2021 10:58AM


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