Ancient Monuments

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Trentishoe barrows, round cairns

A Scheduled Monument in Combe Martin, Devon

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Latitude: 51.212 / 51°12'43"N

Longitude: -3.9634 / 3°57'48"W

OS Eastings: 262952.947

OS Northings: 147699.7488

OS Grid: SS629476

Mapcode National: GBR KV.3ZQQ

Mapcode Global: VH4M7.8S1R

Entry Name: Trentishoe barrows, round cairns

Scheduled Date: 1 November 1966

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1002556

English Heritage Legacy ID: DV 608

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Combe Martin

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Trentishoe St Peter

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


Two round cairns called Trentishoe Barrows.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 10 November 2015. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

This monument which falls into two areas includes two round cairns, situated on the summit of Trentishoe Down a prominent coastal hill overlooking the valley of a tributary to the River Heddon and the Bristol Channel. The northern cairn survives as a circular stony mound with a diameter of 11.2m and is up to 0.8m high. It has been subject to partial early excavation with a large rectangular depression cutting into its centre and up cast material forming a low bank across the mound on its eastern side. A small modern cairn has also been erected on its north western side. This cairn occupies the highest point on the hill. The southern cairn survives as a low circular stony mound which measures up to 18m in diameter and 0.4m high. The cairn has been subject to early excavation or robbing which has left a curving bank on the western side measuring up to 7.2m long, 2.6m wide and 0.4m wide forming the edge of the mound whilst much of the central interior has been removed reducing the height.

A further cairn to the east and cairnfield to the south are not included in the scheduling because they have not been formally assessed.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Exmoor is the most easterly of the three main upland areas in the south western peninsula of England. In contrast to the other two areas, Dartmoor and Bodmin Moor, there has been no history of antiquarian research and little excavation of Exmoor monuments. However, survey work has confirmed a comparable richness of archaeological remains, with evidence of human exploitation and occupation from the Mesolithic period to the present day. Many of the field monuments surviving on Exmoor date from the later prehistoric period, examples including stone settings, stone alignments, standing stones, and burial mounds (barrows or cairns). Round cairns are funerary monuments dating from the Late Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age, with most examples belonging to the period 2400-1500BC. They were constructed as rubble mounds which covered single or multiple burials. They occur either in isolation or grouped as cemeteries, and often acted as a focus for burials in later periods. Over 370 barrows or cairns, varying in diameter from 2m to 35m, have been recorded on Exmoor, with many of these found on or close to the summits of the three east-west ridges which cross the moor - the southern escarpment, the central ridge, and the northern ridge. Individual cairns and groups may also be found on lower lying ground and hillslopes. Those which occupy prominent locations form a major visual element in the modern landscape. Their longevity as a monument type can provide important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period. Despite significant early excavation or robbing the two round cairns called Trentishoe Barrows survive comparatively well and will still contain important archaeological and environmental evidence relating to their construction, use, longevity, funerary, ritual and territorial significance and landscape context.

Source: Historic England


PastScape Monument No:-34656

Source: Historic England

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