MSO7900 - Black Barrow (Monument)


A Bronze Age round barrow, 22 metres in diameter and 1.5 metres high, mentioned in a perambulation of Exmoor Forest in 1279. It has been damaged by the construction of a field wall which has used some of the barrow's fabric.

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Type and Period (2)

Protected Status

Full Description

[SS 83214421] Black Barrow (NR) [1] Black Barrow, round barrow, Scheduled. [2] This is a large overgrown Cairn 1.7m high (Grinsell's Exmoor No 14). The corner of a modern field wall has been built across its centre, and this has caused considerable mutilation [12]. Surveyed at 1:2500. [3,12] Exmoor 14. Black Barrow. It is gutted in the centre, north and west and the material probably used for the wall across its centre. Mentioned in a perambulation of Exmoor Forest in 1279. It is a bowl barrow, 22 paces in diameter and 6 feet high. It is on the boundary of Oare, Exmoor and Porlock parishes. It has been variously called Blakeborgh (1279), Blakebergure (1301), Blackborowe (1621) and Burrow (1782) amongst others. [4] Centred at SS 8321 4421, it is a substantial, circular, earth and stone mound, now mutilated by a field wall. The barrow has panoramic views, especially in a westerly direction. It is 22 metres in diameter and 1.5 metres high. The barrow has been considerably damaged by a west-east field wall which approaches it from the west, and turns northwards at its centre. The wall has been created from the barrow fabric itself, whilst its flanking ditch has cut into the barrow. The result is that the southern arc of the barrow survives intact, and is probably the best preserved part. The north-western quadrant lies within the angle of the field wall and has been considerably reduced. The eastern arc tapers northwards to only 0.4 metres high, and has probably been robbed. No trace of a flanking ditch around the barrow or kerbing is visible. [5] This was used as a boundary marker for the forest, as detailed during the reign of Henry III. [6, 14] Prominent mound some 20 metres across and 1.5 metres high with an uneven top. At the junction of old parish boundary walls. [7] A large Bronze Age barrow forming a corner of the 19th century enclosure of Outer Alscott. Black Barrow is a striking feature in this landscape and is mentioned is several perambulations of the boundaries of Exmoor Forest, from as early as 1279. [8] In private ownership.[9] The Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment of 2009 gave the site a survival score of 0. [13] The site was surveyed in April 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]

Sources/Archives (16)

  • <1> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1962. 6 Inch Map: 1962. 1:10560.
  • <2> Index: Scheduled Monument Notification . DOE (IAM) AMs Eng 2 1978 117.
  • <3> Unpublished document: PITCHER, GHP. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, F1, 1 July 1965.
  • <4> 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. 13, 16, 33.
  • <5> Unpublished document: Wilson-North, R.. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 11 December 1995.
  • <6> Monograph: MacDermot, E T. 1911. A History of Exmoor Forest. 181.
  • <7> Report: Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission. Field Monument Warden Report.
  • <8> Report: Riley H.. 2003. Mill Hill, Oare, Somerset. English Heritage Archaeological Investigation Report Series AI/3/2003.
  • <9> Unpublished document: Somerset County Council. Various. Somerset HER parish files - Exmoor records.
  • <10> Survey: Western Archaeological Trust. 1980s. Exmoor Aerial Photograph Survey. 8344.
  • <11> Aerial photograph: September 19. HSL.UK.71-178 Run 83. 8344.
  • <13> Report: Bray, L.S.. 2010. Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment 2009, Exmoor National Park.
  • <14> Monograph: Siraut, M.. Royal Forest, Exmoor: A guide to the Royal Forest of Exmoor. Exmoor National Park Authority. 3.
  • <15> Report: Gent, T. and Manning, P.. 2015. Exmoor National Park Scheduled Monument Condition Survey 2015.
  • <16> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 36234, Extant 21 June 2021.



Grid reference Centred SS 8320 4421 (32m by 32m) Estimated from sources
Map sheet SS84SW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (2)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO10912
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO6859
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO7752
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 84 SW12
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 36234
  • Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 33051

Record last edited

Jun 21 2021 10:20PM


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