MSO7328 - Disputed Bronze Age barrow on Wilmersham Common (Non-antiquity)


An alleged Bronze Age barrow could not be found during field investigation in 1987. It is assumed to have been wrongly sited, destroyed or incorrectly interpreted peat diggings.

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Type and Period (2)

Protected Status

Full Description

(SS 8645 4249) Very small barrow. [1] There is nothing visible in the area indicated either on the ground or on RAF aerial photographs. [2] Very doubtful barrow c. 0.2 metres high and 4 metres in diameter, covered in grass. Where area has been cultivated with some ploughmarks and lynchets evident. [3] 2 further mounds just to the north with outer ditches. [4,5] Nothing at this grid reference included by Grinsell in his list of Somerset barrows. [6] Supposed round barrow not found during field investigation. The grid reference given by Grinsell for this feature falls in an area of old (certainly not recent) peat cutting. A search among the residual mounds and balks, which cover a wide area, failed to identify it and it must be assumed Grinsell was badly at fault in either grid reference or identification. "Ploughmarks" and "lynchets" seem to refer to peat cuttings. The marks noted on aerial photographs [4,5] were not checked on the ground and the relevant images were not available during fieldwork but there are no ditched mounds on the ground and the cropmarks are either mis-sited or spurious, or, alternatively, relate to the peat diggings noted above. A misreading of Grinsell's grid reference by Somerset SMR has resulted in the information being duplicated on their Monument record PRN 33684 and transferred to a location some 400 metres to the northwest. [6,7] This site has, in the past, been plotted onto Somerset SMR paper maps at SS 8645 4290 and it is not clear if the mounds reported to the north [4] refer to the mapped location or SS 8645 4249. [8] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [9,10]

Sources/Archives (10)

  • <1> Map: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Map Collection Reference . Corr 6" (L V Grinsell Undtd).
  • <2> Unpublished document: PALMER, JP. Mid 1960s. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, F1, 24 June 1965.
  • <3> Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information. National Trust archaeologist, July 1976.
  • <4> Survey: Western Archaeological Trust. 1980s. Exmoor Aerial Photograph Survey. 8642.
  • <5> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. LHL CPE/UK/1980 3170 (April 1947).
  • <6> Article in serial: Grinsell, L.V.. 1969. Somerset Barrows. Part I: West and South. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. 113.
  • <7> Unpublished document: Quinnell, N.V.. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, F2, 27 March 1987.
  • <8> Verbal communication: Various. 1900-. Somerset County Council / South West Heritage Trust staff comments. Chris Webster, Somerset Historic Environment Record, 23 November 2005.
  • <9> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 35959, Extant 2 March 2022.
  • <10> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 36199, Extant 2 March 2022.



Grid reference SS 8644 4249 (point) Estimated from sources
Map sheet SS84SE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

External Links (2)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO11328
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO7386
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 84 SE7
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 84 SE94
  • National Park
  • National Trust HER Record
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 35959
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 36199
  • Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 33684

Record last edited

Mar 2 2022 4:21PM


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