MSO8533 - Wambarrows (Monument)

Summary

A group of three Bronze Age bowl barrows on the summit of Winsford Hill. They are of various dimensions, the largest measuring 27.7 metres in diameter and 1.8 metres high. They are mentioned in Forest perambulations of 1219 and 1279.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

(SS 8756 3431)(SS 8761 3430) Warmbarrows (NR) (SS 8768 3428) [1] Three barrows, observed by Boyd-Dawkins to have been dug out from the top downwards, but as far as was known there was no record of what had been found. Possibly used as beacons in "comparatively recent times." [2] Group of round barrows, Winsford Hill; Scheduled. [3] Three bowl barrows:- Winsford 1, SS 8756 3431. 33 paces diameter and 3.5 ft high. Winsford 2, SS 8761 3430. 21 paces diameter and 4 feet high with large hollow in centre. Winsford 3, SS 8768 3428. 25 paces diameter and 5 feet high with hollow in centre. Visited by Grinsell 6th April 1958. The Wambarrows were mentioned in a boundary perambulation of 1219. The locality is said to be haunted by the Black Dog which may be guarding treasure. [4] This is a group of three large bowl barrows. The most western (Grinsell's Winsford 1) has been truncated and is 1.3 metres high. The central barrow (Winsford 2) has had an irregular pit dug into the top and has a maximum height of 1.7 metres. The eastern barrow is 1.7 metres high and has had a pit 1.1 metres deep dug into the top. [5,18-21] Additional Bibliography. [7] Wambarrows, mentioned in Exmoor Forest perambulations of 1219 and 1279 as `Wamburg' and `Wimbureghe' respectively. This group of three barrows with an outlier (MSO8532) occupy the summit of Winsford Hill and have panoramic views. They lie on heather moorland now owned by the National Trust. The group is close to the modern B3223, and an adjacent lay-by results in considerable visitor access, which has caused some erosion of the barrows themselves and the surrounding ground surface (see individual descriptions below). Winsford Hill is largely covered with a late medieval/post-medieval field system comprising earthen banks and ridge and furrow. This system has encroached on the barrows in several places. SS 8756 3432 (Grinsell Winsford 1). A heather and grass-covered circular mound measuring 27.7 metres north to south by 28.8 metres and 1.8 metres high. The summit is uneven and slopes noticeably to the north, suggesting that the barrow, which is skirted on its southern side by a field bank, has been overploughed by ridge and furrow. The barrow has been further disturbed by a modern track which passes it on its northern side. SS 8761 3430 (Grinsell, Winsford 2). This barrow has been fenced around to protect it from erosion. It consists of a circular mound 17.6 metres in diameter with a very disturbed summit. The eastern part of the summit survives to its original height (1.8 metres), whilst the central and western part has been extensively robbed away, probably for road building, and is now only 0.9 metres high. Subsequent to this robbing, a sub rectangular pit, 5.3 metres by 3.4 metres and 0.6 metres deep has been dug into the south-western quadrant. SS 8768 3429 (Grinsell, Winsford 3). A very well defined barrow, comprising a circular mound 21.7 metres in diameter and 1.9 metres high. A massive, steep-sided, sub-square pit, 8-9 metres across, has been dug into its centre, leaving only an outer rim standing. The barrow lies in the corner of a former field, and is skirted by a field bank on its eastern and southern sides. Very slight north to south ridge and furrow runs up onto the barrow on its northeastern quadrant. More recent disturbance has taken place in the form of an Ordnance Survey triangulation pillar mentioned by Grinsell as being on the barrow, but which is now close by on its southeastern side. Visitor erosion has caused extensive erosion, but this is now being managed through the use of nylon meshing to consolidate and preserve the ground surface. [8] (central) Partially covered in heather, some evidence of rabbit activity in the hollow centre, and some of the stones have been disturbed recently. (eastern) There is considerable erosion from path that has been placed over the barrow. [9] (Western) Large, flat topped mound 30m diameter and 1.5 metres high,covered with rough grass and heather. There are no signs of disturbance. (Central) 15 metres diameter and 0.75 -1.5 metres high. Turf repairs and protective wiring in position. (Eastern) Now fenced off. Repair work has been done on the sides, filling and covering eroded patches. This has involved turfing and covering with protective wire mesh. [1] Appears to have a broad low bank surrounding the central mound. [11] Scheduling revised with new national number (was Somerset 148) on 24 February 2004. [17] The Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment of 2009 gave the western and central barrows a survival score of 3 and the eastern barrow a score of 8. [22] The site was surveyed in June 2015 as part of the 2015 Exmoor Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment. The western and central barrows received a survival score of 3 and the eastern barrow a score of 4. [23]

Sources/Archives (24)

  • <1> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1962. 6 Inch Map: 1962. 1:10560.
  • <2> Article in serial: Boyd-Dawkins?. 1923. Unknown. Somerset Archaeological & Natural History Society. 67. 41-42.
  • <3> Index: Department of the Environment (IAM). 1978. List of Ancient Monuments of England and Wales 1978. P. 119.
  • <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. 14, 18, 41 & 42.
  • <5> Unpublished document: PITCHER, GHP. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, 19 August 1965.
  • <6> Article in serial: The Times. 25.09.1935. Unknown.
  • <7> Article in serial: 1924. Notes and Queries for Somerset and Dorset. 18. 95.
  • <8> Unpublished document: Wilson-North, R.. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 12 March 1997, NMR site SS 83 SE 5.
  • <9> Unassigned: SMR file 34220, 34221, 34222.
  • <10> Report: Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission. Field Monument Warden Report.
  • <11> Survey: Western Archaeological Trust. 1980s. Exmoor Aerial Photograph Survey. 8734.
  • <12> Unassigned: Shell, F.J. 1903. A Book of Exmoor. P. 257.
  • <13> Monograph: Tongue, R.L. 1965. Somerset Folklore. P. 109-10.
  • <14> Monograph: Grinsell, L V. 1976. Folklore of Prehistoric Sites in Britain. P. 103.
  • <15> Aerial photograph: 1947. LHL CPE/UK/1980. 3355.
  • <16> Aerial photograph: September 19. HSL.UK.71-177 Run 87. 8632.
  • <17> Unpublished document: English Heritage. 4/3/2004. English Heritage to Somerset County Council.
  • <18> Photograph: WESTERN PAIR OF WAMBARROWS - 3 BOWL BARROWS AT WINSFORD FROM SOUTH EAST. OS65/F184/1. B/W. MICROFILM.
  • <19> Photograph: WESTERN PAIR OF WAMBARROWS - 3 BOWL BARROWS AT WINSFORD FROM SOUTH EAST. OS65/F184/2. B/W. MICROFILM.
  • <20> Photograph: EASTERN BARROW AT WAMBARROWS - 3 BOWL BARROWS AT WINSFORD, FROM SOUTH. OS65/F186/7. B/W. MICROFILM.
  • <21> Photograph: EASTERN BARROW AT WAMBARROW - 3 BOWL BARROWS AT WINSFORD FROM SOUTH. OS65/F186/8. B/W. MICROFILM.
  • <22> Report: Bray, L.S.. 2010. Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment 2009, Exmoor National Park.
  • <23> Report: Gent, T. and Manning, P.. 2015. Exmoor National Park Scheduled Monument Condition Survey 2015.
  • <24> Artwork: Maryan Green, C.. 2016. Eastern Wambarrow on Winsford Hill. Watercolour.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 8761 3430 (152m by 61m)
Map sheet SS83SE
Civil Parish WINSFORD, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO11662
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO11663
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO11664
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 83 SE5
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • National Trust HER Record
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 35774
  • Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 34220
  • Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 34221
  • Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 34222

Record last edited

Apr 6 2019 8:56AM

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