Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Westbury Beacon, a bell barrow 720m west of Brimble Pit Pool

A Scheduled Monument in Westbury, Somerset

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Latitude: 51.2537 / 51°15'13"N

Longitude: -2.7171 / 2°43'1"W

OS Eastings: 350049

OS Northings: 150748

OS Grid: ST500507

Mapcode National: GBR MK.19FM

Mapcode Global: VH89J.VRF8

Entry Name: Westbury Beacon, a bell barrow 720m west of Brimble Pit Pool

Scheduled Date: 16 February 1953

Last Amended: 21 August 2013

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1006177

English Heritage Legacy ID: SO 263

County: Somerset

Civil Parish: Westbury

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset


The earthwork and buried remains of a bell barrow known as Westbury Beacon situated approximately 720m west of Brimble Pit Pool. It is one of a group of three barrows.

Source: Historic England


Principal elements
The bell barrow, known locally as Westbury Beacon, dates from the Early to Middle Bronze Age and is prominently situated on an eminence on the lip of a south-facing Mendip escarpment

It includes a roughly circular mound that stands up to 3m high and is 28m in diameter, with a berm up to 1.8m wide which is most clearly evident around the eastern side. An irregular quarry ditch that measures approximately 5m wide surrounds the mound and is most evident on the south and north-eastern sides; it has been partially infilled over time but will survive as a buried feature. There is a large depression, 9.4m wide and 1.5m deep, dug into the centre of the mound, probably the result of antiquarian excavations in the late C18.

Extent of scheduling
The scheduling boundary around the bell barrow includes a 2m margin of support and protection for the monument.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

The bell barrow known as Westbury Beacon is scheduled for the following principal reasons:

Rarity: as a bell barrow it is a rare site type since approximately only 350 examples are known nationally;
Diversity: its probable re-use as a beacon enhances its interest and reflects the continuing prominence of this area during the medieval or post-medieval period;
Potential: it will contribute to our understanding of the social organisation and burial practices of the country's Bronze Age population.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Grinsell, L, 'Proceedings of Somerset Archaeology and Natural History Society' in Somerset Barrows, , Vol. 115, (1971), 121 and 126
Fieldwork, accessed from
Boundary Stone, Westbury-sub-Mendip, Somerset. Excavation Report, Somerset PRN 31076 by Westbury Society, September 2011,

Source: Historic England

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