MSO8627 - Linear group of Bronze Age barrows at Black Hill (Monument)


A group of three Bronze Age round barrows running north to south along Black Hill. The largest is badly mutilated and is surmounted by a triangulation point. The second is a flat topped mound, and the third is well defined with a stony surface.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

(SS 98663945, SS 98663959, SS98673973). Beacon (NR) (3 times). [1] Withycombe 1 (SS 9866 3945) a badly mutilated cairn 25 paces diameter and 4 feet high with hollow in centre. Probably a round barrow. Withycombe 2 (SS 9866 3959) a probable round barrow 14 paces diameter and 1.5 feet high. Withycombe 3 (SS 98673973) a cairn 15 paces diameter and 1.5 feet high. Probably a round barrow. [2] Grinsell's 1 is a bowl barrow 1.6 metres high that has been considerably mutilated in the centre. See GP AO/65/182/8. 2 is a bowl barrow 0.8 metres high. The east side has been almost completely destroyed. See GP's AO/65/183/1 & 2. 3 is a truncated cairn 0.8 metres high. See GP's AO/65/183/3 & 4. Published survey (1/2500) revised. [3] Running north to south along the spine of Black Hill is a linear group of three barrows. Withycombe 1. At SS 98664 39443 is the southernmost and by far the largest barrow. It is very mutilated and is surmounted by an Ordnance Survey triangulation pillar. The barrow comprises a circular mound with robbed and mutilated centre. Around the mound is a pronounced berm with external ditch. The monument has an overall diameter of 31.6 metres, but the mound itself varies between 25.8 metres and 29.3 metres in diameter and stands to 2.2 metres in height. (Surveyed at 1:200 scale.) On the northern and southern sides of the barrow a bank is visible. To the south it is visible for some 17 metres as an earthen bank 0.4 metres high. To the north it survives for 43 metres and is visible as a well defined bank 0.6 metres high. The date and purpose of the bank is unclear. Withycombe 2. At SS 98670 39590 is a robbed barrow. It consists of a flat topped circular mound 11.7 metres in diameter and 0.4 metres high. The south-east quadrant has been dug away. A recently dug hole is visible at the centre of the barrow; it measures 0.7 by 0.5 metres and is 0.5 metres deep. The spoil is heaped up on the northern side of the hole. Withycombe 3. At SS 98675 39729 is a well defined barrow. It comprises a circular flat topped mound 11.6 metres in diameter and 0.5 metres high. The surface of the feature is very stony and may have been robbed or otherwise disturbed. At its centre is a small modern cairn 1.3 metres across and 0.5 metres high. Surveyed with GPS as part of RCHME's Exmoor project. [4] The northern (SS 98675 39729) and southern (SS 98662 39443) barrows described by the previous authorities were seen as earthworks and mapped from aerial photographs. Traces of the middle barrow could not be seen on the available photographs. [5-6] Shown as "Stone heaps" on Day and Masters 1782 map of Somerset. [10] These barrows may have been one of those recorded in the early literature as being further to the south. [11] The earthwork remains of a linear group of three round barrows running north-south along the summit of Black Hill.The southernmost, and largest, is badly mutilated and is surmounted by a triangulation point. It measures between 25.8 and 29.3 metres in diameter and stands to a height of 2.2 metres. It is surrounded by a narrow berm with an external ditch and is surmounted by an Ordnance Survey triangulation pillar. There is a field bank to the north and south, visible as an earthwork. The central barrow has been disturbed in the past and survives as a mound of 11.7 metres diameter and 0.4 metres high. The south east side of the mound has been removed and stone has been dug from its centre and placed on its top. The northernmost barrow is well-defined with a stoney surface. It measures 11.6 metres in diameter and is 0.5 metres high. A modern stone heap lies at the centre of the mound. Monument Scheduled on 11 August 2003. [12] The site was visited as part of the Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment of 2009. The barrows were given the following survival scores: Withycombe 1 - 8; 2 - 0; 3 - 3. [22] The site was surveyed in May 2015 as part of the 2015 Exmoor Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment. Withycombe 1 was given a survival score of 8, Withycombe 2 a score of 6 and Withycombe 3 a score of 0. [23]

Sources/Archives (23)

  • <1> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1889.
  • <2> Article in serial: Grinsell, L V. 1969. Somerset Barrows: part 1. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. 113. P. 18. 20, 42.
  • <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, 4 June 1998.
  • <5> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF CPE/UK/1980 3256 (11 April 1947).
  • <6> Collection: RCHME: Brendon Hills Mapping Project, SS93NE.
  • <7> Survey: Western Archaeological Trust. 1980s. Exmoor Aerial Photograph Survey. 9839.
  • <8> Aerial photograph: 1947. LHL CPE/UK/1980. 3290.
  • <9> Aerial photograph: 1947. LHL CPE/UK/1980. 4287.
  • <10> Map: 1782. Day and Masters map of Somerset.
  • <11> Unassigned: Dennison, E, Somerset County Council. 20.07.88.
  • <12> Unpublished document: English Heritage. 20/8/2003. English Heritage to Somerset County Council.
  • <13> Unpublished document: Franklin, J and S. 24/09/05. Franklin, J and S. to SCC.
  • <14> Photograph: TRUNCATED CAIRN AT WITHYCOMBE (SS 9867,3973). OS65/F183/4. B/W. MICROFILM.
  • <15> Photograph: TRUNCATED CAIRN AT WITHYCOMBE (SS 9867, 3973). OS65/F183/3. B/W. MICROFILM.
  • <16> Photograph: WITHYCOMBE BOWL BARROW NO. OS65/F183/2. B/W. MICROFILM.
  • <17> Photograph: BOWL BARROW NO. OS65/F183/1. B/W. MICROFILM.
  • <18> Photograph: WITHYCOMBE BARROW NO. OS65/F182/8. B/W. MICROFILM.
  • <19> Technical drawing: CARPENTER. Withycombe Common/pencil survey.
  • <20> Technical drawing: DAVIS, JD. Withycombe Common/ink survey.
  • <21> Article in serial: GRATY, DJG. 1969. Somerset archaeology and natural history : the pro. 113 Pt 1. 113 Pt 1, 1969. 18, 20, 42 - LV Grinsell.
  • <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.



Grid reference Centred SS 9866 3958 (36m by 303m)
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): MMO195
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO11702
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO11703
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO11704
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 93 NE4
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 36605
  • Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 34261
  • Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 34262
  • Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 34263

Record last edited

Apr 30 2018 9:16PM


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