Ancient Monuments

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Round barrow cemetery on Hustyn Downs

A Scheduled Monument in Withiel, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.4775 / 50°28'39"N

Longitude: -4.8256 / 4°49'32"W

OS Eastings: 199617.6411

OS Northings: 68003.1352

OS Grid: SW996680

Mapcode National: GBR ZV.PV2K

Mapcode Global: FRA 07SS.MW0

Entry Name: Round barrow cemetery on Hustyn Downs

Scheduled Date: 10 June 1973

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1004233

English Heritage Legacy ID: CO 843

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Withiel

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: St Breoke

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument, which falls into six areas of protection, includes a round barrow cemetery, situated on the summit of the prominent hill known as Hustyn Downs. The barrows survive as circular mounds surrounded by buried quarry ditches, from which the construction material was derived. They vary in size from 15m to 27m in diameter and from 0.6m to 3.6m high. Two have peripheral stones indicative of retaining kerbs. One has been partially cut by a field boundary, and one has a central excavation hollow and an Ordnance Survey triangulation pillar set onto it. The pillar and hedge are excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath these features is included. The largest barrow is known locally as 'Hustyn Barrow' or the 'Great Barrow of Hustyn' and although reputedly partially excavated no finds were reported.

Sources: HER:-
PastScape Monument No:-431403 and 430329

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Round barrow cemeteries date to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They comprise closely-spaced groups of up to 30 round barrows - rubble or earthen mounds covering single or multiple burials. Most cemeteries developed over a considerable period of time, often many centuries, and in some cases acted as a focus for burials as late as the early medieval period. They exhibit considerable diversity of burial rite, plan and form, frequently including several different types of round barrow, occasionally associated with earlier long barrows. Where large scale investigation has been undertaken around them, contemporary or later "flat" burials between the barrow mounds have often been revealed. Round barrow cemeteries occur across most of lowland Britain, with a marked concentration in Wessex. In some cases, they are clustered around other important contemporary monuments such as henges. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape, whilst their diversity and their longevity as a monument type provide important information on the variety of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period. The round barrow cemetery on Hustyn Downs survives comparatively well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, development, the relative chronologies of individual barrows, territorial significance, social organisation, ritual and funerary practices, differing construction techniques and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England

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