Ancient Monuments

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Holwell Barrow round barrow

A Scheduled Monument in Parracombe, Devon

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Latitude: 51.1708 / 51°10'14"N

Longitude: -3.9006 / 3°54'2"W

OS Eastings: 267221.426934

OS Northings: 142997.75109

OS Grid: SS672429

Mapcode National: GBR KY.6HNG

Mapcode Global: VH4MG.BTRV

Entry Name: Holwell Barrow round barrow

Scheduled Date: 25 October 1968

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1002563

English Heritage Legacy ID: DV 628

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Parracombe

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Parracombe Christ Church

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


Holwell Barrow.

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 includes a bowl barrow known as Holwell Barrow situated on the summit of a prominent ridge known as Rowley Down, overlooking the steep valley of a tributary to the River Heddon. Holwell Barrow survives as a circular mound measuring up to 26m in diameter and 2.3m high. On the summit of the mound is a central excavation hollow which measures up to 0.5m deep. The surrounding quarry ditch from which material to construct the mound was derived is preserved as a buried feature up to 4m wide and is visible on aerial photographs taken in 1947.

Further bowl barrows in the vicinity are either not scheduled or are subject to separate schedulings.

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 others, Dartmoor and Bodmin Moor, there has been no history of antiquarian research and little excavation of its monuments. However, detailed survey work by the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England 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 include stone settings, stone alignments, standing stones, and burial mounds (`barrows'). Bowl barrows, the most numerous form of round barrow, are funerary monuments dating to the Late Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age, with most examples belonging to the period 2400-1500BC. They were constructed as earthen or rubble mounds, sometimes ditched, 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 bowl barrows, varying in diameter from 2m to 35m, have been recorded on Exmoor. Many of these are 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 - whilst individual barrows 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 considerable variation in form and longevity as a monument type provide important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period. Despite early partial excavation of Holwell Barrow, the two bowl barrows survive well. Smaller barrows are often found immediately associated with much larger examples and sometimes indicate different dates, forms of funerary practice or possibly are for individuals of differing social status. As such these two barrows form an important pairing. Both will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to their construction, use, territorial significance, relative date, funerary and ritual practices and their landscape context.

Source: Historic England


PastScape Monument No:-34712

Source: Historic England

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