Ancient Monuments

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Two bowl barrows on North Molton Ridge 620m and 720m west of Twitchen Ball Corner

A Scheduled Monument in Twitchen, Devon

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Latitude: 51.0786 / 51°4'43"N

Longitude: -3.744 / 3°44'38"W

OS Eastings: 277928.801552

OS Northings: 132482.220756

OS Grid: SS779324

Mapcode National: GBR L5.D7BN

Mapcode Global: FRA 3618.H7F

Entry Name: Two bowl barrows on North Molton Ridge 620m and 720m west of Twitchen Ball Corner

Scheduled Date: 10 November 1950

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1003840

English Heritage Legacy ID: DV 247

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


This monument includes two bowl barrows, one with a later encircling bank, situated on the summit of North Molton Ridge, overlooking the valleys of the River Mole and Sherdon Water. The southern barrow survives as an oval flat-topped mound measuring up to 21.5m long by 19.5m wide and 1m high. The surrounding quarry ditch, from which material to construct the mound was derived, is preserved as a buried feature. Encircling the mound and 7.6m from its base is a later 1.1m high outer bank with external ditch. This feature relates to either the Elizabethan reuse of the barrow as a beacon or as a result of 18th century tree planting. An Ordnance Survey triangulation pillar has been placed on the summit of the barrow mound. The northern barrow survives as a flat-topped circular mound measuring up to 19.2m in diameter and 0.5m high. The partially buried surrounding quarry ditch measures up to 1m wide and 0.2m deep. This barrow was partially excavated in 1917 and finds included an urn, flint implements and a necklace of faience beads. The triangulation pillar is excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath this feature is included.

Sources: HER:-
NMR:-SS 73 SE 1
PastScape Monument No:-35068

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Bowl barrows, the most numerous form of round barrow, are funerary monuments dating from the Late Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age, with most examples belonging to the period 2400-1500 BC. 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. Often superficially similar, although differing widely in size, they exhibit regional variations in form and a diversity of burial practices. There are over 10,000 surviving bowl barrows recorded nationally (many more have already been destroyed), occurring across most of lowland Britain. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape and their considerable variation of form and longevity as a monument type provide important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisations amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period. Despite partial excavation, and some modification the barrows on North Molton Ridge survive comparatively well and will contain important archaeological and environmental evidence relating to their construction, use, later reuse and landscape context.

Source: Historic England

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