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Two bowl barrows, 220m ESE of Putts Corner, forming part of a round barrow cemetery on Gittisham Hill

A Scheduled Monument in Honiton, Devon

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Latitude: 50.7587 / 50°45'31"N

Longitude: -3.2093 / 3°12'33"W

OS Eastings: 314796.512951

OS Northings: 96150.06065

OS Grid: SY147961

Mapcode National: GBR P9.BNXN

Mapcode Global: FRA 4752.MHP

Entry Name: Two bowl barrows, 220m ESE of Putts Corner, 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: 1014251

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27406

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Honiton

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
two bowl barrows and the archaeologically sensitive area of ground between
them situated on the crest of Gittisham Hill. The B3174 runs between the
barrows at which point the alignment of the road alters slightly.
The southernmost barrow is of evenly rounded profile, 22m in diameter and
c.1.2m high, and is composed of a peaty soil containing flinty stones up to
20cm in size. The barrow does not appear to have been surrounded by a ditch. A
field bank lies across the northern edge of the mound. Beyond this,
construction of the road has removed part of the barrow mound 4m wide
radially. Antiquarian excavation in 1867 recovered no finds from the mound and
no record was made of its internal structure.
The northernmost barrow has steep sides and a flat top. It is 32m in
diameter and c.2.6m high, composed of peaty soil containing small flinty
stones. The barrow mound is surrounded by a ditch 4m wide, increasing to 6m on
the east side, and up to 0.5m deep, which is seasonally waterlogged. The
construction of the road has removed a segment 3m wide radially of the
southern edge of the mound, and has infilled the ditch to form a level
causeway. On the eastern slope of the mound there is a trench 15m in length
and about 0.6m deep, with sloping sides 2m wide at the top, that arcs
concentric to the mound, and has upcast soil on its outer side. This feature
is understood to be a World War II Home Guard entrenchment. A small boundary
stone is embedded in the south east sector of the mound.
The area of ground between the two barrows is archaeologically sensitive in
that it will contain burials, evidence of related activity, or archaeological
evidence for the chronological relationship between them.
Excluded from the monument are the made up surfaces of the road and lay-by
and all fence posts, but the ground beneath them is included.

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.
These two barrows are part of the 13 that form the Gittisham Hill barrow
cemetery. Although the road is positioned between these two barrows and has
removed parts of both of them, the major part of both barrows remains intact
and will retain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to their
construction and use. The larger barrow forms a prominent landmark.

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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