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Two bowl barrows, 350m south east of Stevenstone Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Upton Pyne, Devon

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Latitude: 50.783 / 50°46'58"N

Longitude: -3.5443 / 3°32'39"W

OS Eastings: 291224.772854

OS Northings: 99295.341402

OS Grid: SX912992

Mapcode National: GBR LF.ZXL0

Mapcode Global: FRA 37G0.P0V

Entry Name: Two bowl barrows, 350m SE of Stevenstone Farm

Scheduled Date: 10 November 1950

Last Amended: 4 September 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010631

English Heritage Legacy ID: 15014

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Upton Pyne

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Upton Pyne Church of our Lady

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


The monument includes two bowl barrows centred 45m apart on an E-W axis, each
surviving as a low earthen mound, 30m in diameter and 0.5m high, in an arable
field. Both barrows were partially excavated in 1870. In the eastern barrow,
the excavation revealed the mound's layered construction, possibly using
turves, though no burials or grave goods were recovered. The excavation of
the western barrow also revealed a layered mound, of sand, clay and peat,
covering a central cremation burial accompanied by a copper-alloy pin and a
small grooved-and-rivetted dagger, a small decorated pottery cup, a necklace
of shale and fossil beads and a quantity of carbonised wheat. The burial and
grave goods were themselves covered by a circular heap of burnt clay and
ashes, probably the remains of a central burial structure. These barrows form
the central and easternmost of an E-W linear group of three barrows, locally
called the `Three Barrows', spaced 10-25m apart along the S crest of a low
ridge. Their position overlooks the centre of the area covered by the Upton
Pyne barrow group, which comprises over thirty recorded barrows dispersed
about a low-lying alluvial basin north of the confluences of the River Exe
with the Rivers Culm and Creedy. Within the overall group, barrows occur both
as isolated examples and forming localised clusters, some linear such as this
example. Grave goods and a radiocarbon date derived from the few partly-
excavated barrows in the group indicate burials during the early and middle
Bronze Age (around 2000 - 1000 BC). All of the upstanding barrows in this
group present the appearance of unditched bowl barrows, the absence of ditches
being supported by aerial photographic evidence and confirmed for all examples
that have been excavated.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

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
and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of

Limited excavation of these barrows has confirmed the survival of detailed
evidence for the mound's construction, and in one case the primary burial,
while leaving sufficient areas unexcavated to allow intact preservation both
of that evidence and any secondary burials that were made in the barrows. The
unusual low-lying position of the Upton Pyne barrow group, its good overall
preservation, and the quality of the dating, oonstructional and artefactual
information that it has already produced, have all resulted in its frequent
mention in national reviews of Bronze Age funerary monuments.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Todd, M, The South-West to A.D. 1000, (1987), 148-50
Todd, M, The South-West to A.D. 1000, (1987), 148-150
Powers, R, 'Proc. Devon Arch. Soc.' in The Cremated Bones From a Barrow At Stevenson Farm, Upton Pyne, , Vol. 27, (1969), 76
Devon SMR entries for SX 99 NW-119 and -120,
Devon SMR entry for SX 99 NW-021 and -052,
Devon SMR entry for SX 99 NW-021, -026 and -052,
Devon SMR entry for SX 99 NW-026,
Devon SMR entry for SX 99 NW-027,
Fox, A., South-West England, (1964)
Title: 1:50000 Map, No. 192: Exeter, Sidmouth & surrounding area
Source Date:

Source: Historic England

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