MSO7442 - Bronze Age embanked platform cairn or disturbed bowl barrow on Monkham Hill (Monument)


A Bronze Age embanked platform cairn is visible as a low, very stony, circular bank. The northeastern part of the centre of the interior is occupied by a spread mound of stones. It now lies in an cleared area of commercial forestry.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

(SS 9935 3901) Tumulus (NR) [1] Luxborough No 3, a bowl barrow 14 paces diameter and 1 foot high with a hollow in the centre. [2] This is the rim of a bowl barrow 0.3 metres high. Published survey (1/2500) revised. [3] A round barrow occupying a striking topographic position on the crest of the Exmoor escarpment. It comprises a circular spread of stone 0.4 metres high and 13.2 metres in diameter. It is in very poor condition: it is situated in an area of commercial forestry and trees have been planted on it. At the time of field investigation at least three mature conifers on the barrow had been blown over ripping up the surface of the monument. [4] This barrow may have been one of those recorded in the early literature as being further to the southwest. [5] Scheduled on 6th October 2003. [6] The Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment of 2009 gave the site a survival score of 3. [10] The site was surveyed in May 2015 as part of the 2015 Exmoor Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment. It was given a survival score of 12. [11] A large scale survey of this cairn was undertaken for Historic England and the Forestry Commission in 2017 following clearance of scrub across the site. The cairn lies in a clearing on the edge of a mature conifer plantation, on land which was formerly open moorland and part of Rodhuish Common. It comprises a low, very stony, circular bank, 3 metres wide and up to 0.7 metres high. The west side has been destroyed by a disused, deep vehicle track but the plan shows that the bank was originally circular and 16 metres in diameter. Two hollows to the north and east may be the remains of stone robbing; it has been disturbed and probably spread by vehicle tracks. The survey has suggested that this monument is an embanked platform cairn rather than a robbed barrow as previously suggested. This cairn, the barrow to the west (MSO7443) and a newly discovered cairn in a plot of mature conifers (MEM23805) to the northwest form a group of three distinct types of funerary monuments in a prominent location on the northeastern edge of the Exmoor escarpment, looking out north across the Bristol Channel and east towards the Quantock Hills. The structural differences may well relate to the different way that the sites were used: cremation, perhaps on the site of the platform cairn, followed by the interment of the ashes in the barrow, and the disposal of the cremation pyre within the embanked platform cairn. [12]

Sources/Archives (12)

  • <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. 35.
  • <3> Unpublished document: PALMER, JP. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, 25 August 1965.
  • <4> Unpublished document: Wilson-North, R.. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 19 May 1998.
  • <5> Unassigned: Dennison, E, Somerset County Council. 20.07.88.
  • <6> Unpublished document: English Heritage. 15/10/2003. English Heritage to Somerset County Council.
  • <7> Monograph: Phelphs, W. 1839. History of Somersetshire. 2, part II. P. 116 and 125.
  • <8> Monograph: Savage, J.. 1830. A History of the Hundred of Carhampton. P. 249.
  • <9> Article in serial: Williams, E.F.. 1978. Parish surveys in Somerset two: Luxborough. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeology and Natural History Society. 2. P.18.
  • <10> Report: Bray, L.S.. 2010. Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment 2009, Exmoor National Park.
  • <11> Report: Gent, T. and Manning, P.. 2015. Exmoor National Park Scheduled Monument Condition Survey 2015.
  • <12> Report: Riley, H.. 2017. Metric Survey of an Embanked Platform Cairn on Monkham Hill, Luxborough, Exmoor National Park. Site A ,Fig 2; Figs 3-7.



Grid reference Centred SS 9935 3901 (24m by 24m)
Map sheet SS93NE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (3)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO11390
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 93 NE2
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 36599
  • Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 33746

Record last edited

Jun 23 2020 11:15AM


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