Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Two round barrows on Twitchen Ridge

A Scheduled Monument in Twitchen, Devon

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Latitude: 51.0772 / 51°4'37"N

Longitude: -3.7087 / 3°42'31"W

OS Eastings: 280399.47547

OS Northings: 132263.555756

OS Grid: SS803322

Mapcode National: GBR L6.DJ8Z

Mapcode Global: FRA 3638.QYZ

Entry Name: Two round barrows on Twitchen Ridge

Scheduled Date: 29 January 1969

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1002576

English Heritage Legacy ID: DV 672

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Twitchen

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: North Molton All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


Two bowl barrows called Twitchen 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 bowl barrows situated on the summit of the prominent Twitchen Ridge overlooking the valley of Litton Water. The western barrow survives as a circular mound measuring up to 11.5m in diameter and 1.4m high. The top has a rectangular trench indicating early partial excavation. The eastern barrow survives as a circular mound measuring up to 23m in diameter and 1.3m high. It has irregular trench across the summit and the surface is uneven particularly to the south, again the result of partial early excavation or robbing. For both barrows the surrounding quarry ditches from which material to construct the mounds was derived survive as buried features up to 3m wide.

Other similar monuments in the vicinity are the subject of 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 partial early excavation or robbing the two bowl barrows called Twitchen Barrows survive comparatively well and will contain important archaeological and environmental evidence relating to their construction, use, relative chronology, territorial significance, funerary and ritual practices and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England


PastScape Monument No:-35817

Source: Historic England

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