Ancient Monuments

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Linear round barrow cemetery at Castle Park, Alphington

A Scheduled Monument in Exminster, Devon

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Latitude: 50.6924 / 50°41'32"N

Longitude: -3.5287 / 3°31'43"W

OS Eastings: 292117.012092

OS Northings: 89196.212517

OS Grid: SX921891

Mapcode National: GBR P1.BSM9

Mapcode Global: FRA 37H7.WLF

Entry Name: Linear round barrow cemetery at Castle Park, Alphington

Scheduled Date: 31 July 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012347

English Heritage Legacy ID: 10625

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Exminster

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Alphington St Michael and All Angels

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


This round barrow cemetery lies 200m west of Matford Barton, near the brow of
a slope which descends southwards to Matford Brook. It consists of a group of
at least nine barrows in linear arrangement, extending for some 150m
westwards from the largest, easternmost barrow. Apart from the largest barrow
the cemetery is a flat site, its extent having been revealed by aerial
photography. The eastern barrow is 44m by 40m in diameter and 1.5m in height.
Aerial photographs show that it has a perimeter ditch and a central circular
feature approximately 10m in diameter. This central feature is thought to be
a burial. When ploughed, the soil is noticeably more stony over this area
than elsewhere in the field. The other eight barrows are visible from aerial
photographs, but cannot be traced visibly at ground level; they appear as a
closely, but irregularly spaced linear group of ring ditches from c.4m to -
c.16m in diameter. The public footpath along the northern field boundary is
not included in the scheduling.

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

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
and a substantial proportion of surviving or partly-surviving examples are
considered worthy of protection.

This example at Castle Park is particularly significant in that it is
unparalleled in Devon and extends the known national distribution of linear
round barrow cemeteries.

Source: Historic England


Devon County SMR SX 98 NW-011,

Source: Historic England

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