Ancient Monuments

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A bowl barrow 370m WNW of Ring-in-the-Mire, forming part of a round barrow cemetery on Gittisham Hill

A Scheduled Monument in Sidmouth, Devon

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Latitude: 50.758 / 50°45'28"N

Longitude: -3.2044 / 3°12'15"W

OS Eastings: 315144.441538

OS Northings: 96067.571791

OS Grid: SY151960

Mapcode National: GBR P9.BQ95

Mapcode Global: FRA 4752.PFT

Entry Name: A bowl barrow 370m WNW of Ring-in-the-Mire, forming part of a round barrow cemetery on Gittisham Hill

Scheduled Date: 5 January 1927

Last Amended: 11 April 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014249

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27404

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Sidmouth

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Gittisham St Michael

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


The Gittisham Hill barrow cemetery is situated in south east Devon, 8km
south of Honiton, on the high ground of an extensive Greensand plateau where
it forms the watershed of the south-flowing River Sid. The monument includes a
single bowl barrow situated within an area of heathland, on the east side of
Gittisham Hill.
The barrow consists of a substantial mound of evenly rounded profile, 40m in
diameter and c.3.5m in height, surrounded by a ditch 4m wide and up to 0.5m
deep, visible on the west, north and east sides. The mound has been subject to
a number of later disturbances. The lower slope of the mound is circumscribed
by a shallow trench, 1m wide and c.0.4m deep, with an upcast bank, 1m wide, on
its outer side. This feature was observed in 1880 when the trench is reported
to have contained a hedge enclosing the mound from the surrounding heath. On
the west and north sides small pits have been dug into the mound from the
inner side of the trench. On the top of the mound and towards its north side
there is a large steep-sided conical pit, 4m in diameter and 2m deep,
surrounded by a bank of upcast soil. On the north west side of the mound and
inside the circuit of the circular trench, another short trench, 3m long, 2m
wide and c.1m deep, has been dug radially into the mound. There are no records
of the barrow being subject to archaeological investigation.

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.

The Gittisham Hill barrow cemetery comprises the western area of one of the
most extensive and densest concentrations of barrows in Devon. Limited
archaeological excavations of some of the barrows in this concentration have
revealed that they show a remarkable diversity in size and form, and in the
nature of their funerary contents.
This barrow is one of 13 that form the Gittisham Hill barrow cemetery. It is
the largest in the group and is a prominent landmark on the heath. Despite
later disturbance it survives in good condition and will retain archaeological
and environmental evidence relating to its construction and use.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Fox, A, 'Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society' in The Broad Down (Farway) Necropolis, , Vol. 4, (1952), 1-19
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society' in The Barrows of South and East Devon, , Vol. 41, (1983), 5-46
Hutchinson, , 'Report and Transactions of the Devonshire Association' in Report on Barrows near Sidmouth, , Vol. 12, (1880)
Simpson, S, Noble, S, 'Exeter Museums Archaeological Field Unit Report' in Archaeological Survey & Management Study of Areas of E Devon, , Vol. 93.38, (1993)

Source: Historic England

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