Ancient Monuments

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Bowl barrow 500m west of Starved Oak Cross

A Scheduled Monument in Upton Pyne, Devon

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Latitude: 50.7782 / 50°46'41"N

Longitude: -3.5507 / 3°33'2"W

OS Eastings: 290763.406228

OS Northings: 98772.145869

OS Grid: SX907987

Mapcode National: GBR P0.L6K3

Mapcode Global: FRA 37G1.0HZ

Entry Name: Bowl barrow 500m W of Starved Oak Cross

Scheduled Date: 16 February 1953

Last Amended: 2 October 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010645

English Heritage Legacy ID: 15026

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 is a bowl barrow surviving as an earthen mound, 40m in diameter
and 1m high, in a ploughed arable field. There is no visible or recorded
evidence that this barrow has ever been excavated, though several flint
artefacts have been recovered from its surface during survey. This barrow is
situated near the centre of a line of four well-spaced barrows on a low broad
ridge overlooking a shallow valley at the centre of the area covered by the
Upton Pyne barrow group. This group comprises over thirty recorded barrows
dispersed about a low-lying alluvial basin N of the confluences of the River
Exe with the Rivers Culm and Creedy. Within the group, barrows occur both as
isolated examples and forming localised clusters. 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 surface
appearance of unditched bowl barrows, the absence of ditches being supported
by aerial photographic evidence and confirmed for all examples that have been

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

This bowl barrow has survived without any known previous archaeological
disturbance and preserves one of the better visible profiles among the barrows
of the Upton Pyne group, whose unusual low-lying position, good overall
preservation, and quality of dating, constructional and artefactual
information 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), 148-150
Devon SMR entries for SX 99 NW-119 and -120,
Devon SMR entry for SX 99 NW-003,
Devon SMR entry for SX 99 NW-021, -026, -027 and -052,
Fox, A., South-West England, (1964)

Source: Historic England

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