MSO8685 - Old Barrow (Monument)


A Bronze Age bowl barrow, at the eastern end of the ridge forming Old Barrow Down. It measures 20.9 metres in diameter and 1.2 metres high and has been heavily disturbed by robbing or excavation trenches. Summary from record MMO132: Bowl barrow usually known as Old Barrow measures 20.9 metres in diameter and 1.2 metres high. It has been heavily disturbed by robbing or possibly by antiquarian excavation trenches.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

[SS 84153241] Old Barrow (NR) [1] Withypoole No 7, a bowl barrow 13 paces diameter and 2.5 feet high with a hollow in the centre. It is enclosed by a bank with outer ditch which is not concentric with the barrow and is clearly a tree clump enclosure, probably 18th Century. Visited by Grinsell 25th May 1958. [2] Scheduled. [3] Old Barrow is at SS 8408 3244, the feature has been omitted from the Ordnance Survey 6 inch and the name erroneously applied to a pit. It appears to be a very robbed bowl barrow, 0.9 metres high. The bank mentioned by Grinsell is not well defined and has only slight traces of an outer ditch. Although clearly later than the barrow it is not certainly a tree ring, and it may have been formed when the barrow was robbed (See [17,18]). Published 1:2500 survey revised. [4] (SS 8408 3244) Old Barrow (NR) [6] Old Barrow, a prehistoric barrow, is centred at SS 8408 3244 at the eastern end of the ridge forming Old Barrow Down. It is a circular earth and stone mound, 20.9 metres in diameter and 1.2 metres high and has been heavily disturbed by robbing or excavation trenches. These appear as two, sharp sided, concentric circular cuttings 1.5 metres wide and 0.3 metres deep. Their shallowness suggests that they are less likely to be stone robbing trenches and more likely to be the result of an antiquarian attempt to define a kerb within the monument. Such an event does not appear to be documented but has been noted elsewhere on Exmoor (see MSO8683 and MDE1196-barrow D).Old Barrow has extensive views in all directions.The vegetation of the site is grass with some reeds. [6] The probable Bronze Age round barrow known as Old Barrow is clearly visible as an earthwork on aerial photographs of the 1940s onwards. On the aerial photographs available to the survey the monument can be seen as a mound circa 10 metres in diameter with evidence of disturbance visible as an off-centre pit about 4.5 metres in diameter. The mound appears to be enclosed by a narrow bank which in turn is surrounded by a ditch less than 1.5 metres wide, and finally an outer bank. It is possible these are also evidence of antiquarian disturbance as suggested by authority 6 above. [7-11] The site has a ring feature with an internal circular depression and a central rough mound. The barrow is 20 metres in diameter and generally 0.74 metres high; although it rises to 1 metre in the centre. [12] Area of small mounds and quarries. [13] Scheduling affirmed with new national number (was Somerset 159) on 22 June 2004. [15] In private ownership. [16] It appears that this barrow may not have been visited during the Scheduled Monument Condition Survey of 2009 but instead, MSO8746 may have been visited instead in error. [19] The site is shown as a round mound on Hawkridge Tithe Map and named 'Old Burrow'. It is in an area labelled Hawkridge Common. A similar but larger mound is depicted about 520 metres to the west and is named Flatpool Burrow. [20] The barrow was visited in March 2015 as part of the 2015 Exmoor Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment, although it was erroneously thought to be the barrow referred to in MSO8746. It was given a survival score of 7. [21] SS 84083 32452. A large, stony, circular mound, 20.9 metres in diameter and up to 1.2 metres high lies on the east side of Old Barrow Down. This is a prehistoric round barrow known as "Old Barrow". The barrow has been disturbed in several places: disused vehicle tracks clip the south side; several hollows in the top of the mound are probably the result of unrecorded antiquarian excavations and narrow trenches around the west side may be the result of an attempt to define a stone kerb around the mound. [22]

Sources/Archives (22)

  • <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. 20, 42.
  • <3> Index: Department of the Environment (IAM). 1978. List of Ancient Monuments of England and Wales 1978. P. 119.
  • <4> Unpublished document: PITCHER, GHP. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, 2 September 1965.
  • <5> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1977. 1:10,000 SS83SW.
  • <6> Unpublished document: Wilson-North, R.. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 6 April 1995.
  • <7> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF 106G/UK/1655 (F20) 4254-5 (11 July 1946).
  • <8> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR RAF 543/2821 (F62) 0258-9 (27 April 1964).
  • <9> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/72314 428-9 (16 August 1972).
  • <10> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Oblique Aerial Photograph. NMR SS/8432/4 (18279/04) (10 February 1999).
  • <11> Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 83 SE. MD002198.
  • <12> Report: Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission. Field Monument Warden Report.
  • <13> Survey: Western Archaeological Trust. 1980s. Exmoor Aerial Photograph Survey. 8432.
  • <14> Aerial photograph: September 19. HSL.UK.71-178 Run 85. 9324.
  • <15> Unpublished document: English Heritage. 7/9/2004. English Heritage to Somerset County Council.
  • <16> Unpublished document: Somerset County Council. Various. Somerset HER parish files - Exmoor records.
  • <19> Report: Bray, L.S.. 2010. Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment 2009, Exmoor National Park.
  • <20> Map: 1841. Hawkridge Tithe Map and Apportionment.
  • <21> Report: Gent, T. and Manning, P.. 2015. Exmoor National Park Scheduled Monument Condition Survey 2015.
  • <22> Report: Riley, H.. 2018. Archaeological walkover survey: Halscombe Allotments, Humber's Ball, Hawkridge Plain & Old Barrow Down, Withypool & Hawkridge, Exmoor. HWH17015, p7.



Grid reference Centred SS 8408 3244 (30m by 29m)
Map sheet SS83SW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (3)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO132
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO11733
  • Mires Feature Reference (Monument) (Halscombe etc): HWH17015
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 83 SW4
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 35811
  • Scheduled Monument (County Number): SO 159
  • Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 34301

Record last edited

May 12 2018 10:56PM


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