MSO9186 - Two Bronze Age burial cairns southwest of Dunkery Beacon (Monument)


Two Bronze Age burial cairns on the southwestern slopes of Dunkery Beacon. They measure 5.5 metres in diameter and 0.7 metres high and 3.5 metres by 0.6 metres high.

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Type and Period (2)

Protected Status

Full Description

"This small round barrow has a diameter of about 25 feet, a height of approximately 2.75 feet and is covered with heather. It is situated about 800 yards south-west of Dunkery Beacon on the north side of a track., the middle of which is 33 feet from the middle of the barrow. There is a deep hole in the centre indicating excavation at some time. Scheduled Monument, no 47." [1,2] Cutcombe 4b. At SS 888 411 is a small mound, 6 paces by 2 feet high with a hollow centre. It is possibly a mining shaft. Visited by Grinsell 25 May 1958 [3] The mound referred to is at SS 8838 4118. It is 0.7 metres high with a hole 0.5 metres deep in the centre. There is no evidence to link it with mining although it is not necessarily a barrow. Surveyed at 1/2500. [4] SS 889411. Round barrow 800 yards southwest of Dunkery Beacon. Scheduled. (Shown on maplet at SS 8857 4114). [5,6] A: SS 8839 4119. A heather covered mound situated on a gentle south slope below the crest of the Dunkery ridge. It has diameters of 5.5 metres and 6.7 metres and is 0.7 metres high. The mound has been trenched from the south east creating a pit in the centre 1.5 metres across and exposing a content of small stones. The excavation is old and the mound is certainly not a mining pit; mining or prospecting does not occur in the area. This cairn is Grinsell's Cutcombe 4b, scheduled at an incorrect position on the I.A.M. maplet (S.A.M. 47), has given rise to an extraordinary range of N.G. references. B: SS 8841 4119. About 23 metres to the east of the above is another mound with diameters of 3.1 metres by 3.5 metres, and 0.6 metres high. It is rather obscured by moss and heather and is slightly conical. Probing indicates stone constructions though little is visible on the surface. Possibly a prehistoric cairn. [7] Two cairns lie on the south western slopes of Dunkery Beacon, close to the track which runs to the north of the enclosure wall. That to the west, the larger of the two, is as described by [7] and lies at SS 88381 41196. That to the west is also as described by [7], and lies at SS 88408 41188. The cairns were surveyed using GPS as part of the RCHME East Exmoor project. [8] An irregular mound of small and medium sized stones forming a partially robbed cairn about 1 metre high. Robber hole about 0.5 metres deep. The north side is a steep well defined slope and suggests an originally circular feature. NGR is SS 8838 4126. [9,10] The area has recently been swaled and the barrow is in good condition, covered whith small heather stumps. More likely to be a barrow than a spoil heap. [11] Mound is heather covered. 0.75 metes at its greatest height and somewhat "horse-shoe" shaped, having been dug away to the southeast. [12] The Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment of 2009 gave the site a score of 3. [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. [14]

Sources/Archives (14)

  • <1> Article in serial: Gray, H.St.G.. 1932. Rude stone monuments of Exmoor (Somerset Portion): Part IV. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. 78. 122.
  • <2> Index: Ministry of Works. 1961. List of Ancient Monuments of England and Wales. 81.
  • <3> Article in serial: Grinsell, L V. 1969. Somerset Barrows, part 1. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeology and Natural History Society. 113. 29.
  • <4> Unpublished document: PALMER, JP. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, 22 June 1965.
  • <5> Index: Department of Environment. 1978. Acient Monuments in England and Wales: Vol II. 117.
  • <6> Map: Department of Environment. Maplet (IAM).
  • <7> Unpublished document: Quinnell, N.V.. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, 3 April 1987.
  • <8> Unpublished document: Riley, H.. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 28 Jan 1997.
  • <9> Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information or Staff Comments. R McDonnell, site visit, 8 September 1981.
  • <10> Article in serial: Burrow, I, Minnitt, S and Murless, B. 1982. Somerset Archaeology, 1981. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. 126. 61.
  • <11> Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information or Staff Comments. National Trust archaeologist visit, July 1976.
  • <12> Report: Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission. Field Monument Warden Report.
  • <13> Report: Bray, L.S.. 2010. Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment 2009, Exmoor National Park.
  • <14> Report: Gent, T. and Manning, P.. 2015. Exmoor National Park Scheduled Monument Condition Survey 2015.



Grid reference Centred SS 884 411 (25m by 5m) (Surveyed)
Map sheet SS84SE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (3)

External Links (2)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO10279
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO11151
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO9190
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 84 SE13
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 84 SE24
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • National Trust HER Record
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 35985
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 36030
  • Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 33481
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 18032

Record last edited

Oct 27 2015 2:29PM


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