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An enclosure and two bowl barrows 180m east of Putts Corner, forming part of a round barrow cemetery on Gittisham Hill

A Scheduled Monument in Honiton, Devon

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Latitude: 50.7597 / 50°45'34"N

Longitude: -3.2095 / 3°12'34"W

OS Eastings: 314787.918362

OS Northings: 96261.286892

OS Grid: SY147962

Mapcode National: GBR P9.BGX8

Mapcode Global: FRA 4752.FH7

Entry Name: An enclosure and two bowl barrows 180m east 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: 1014252

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27407

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 monument 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. It includes an enclosure, two bowl barrows
forming part of the Gittisham Hill round barrow cemetery, and the
archaeologically sensitive area of ground between them. It is situated within
an area of heathland on level ground on Gittisham Hill.
The enclosure consists of two discontinuous concentric banks defining a
horseshoe-shaped area 50m north-south by 45m east-west. The banks survive to a
width of between 1m and 3.5m, and vary in height correspondingly between 0.1m
and 0.3m. The banks are at their most substantial in the south west sector of
the enclosure. The distance between the banks varies between 2m-6m, and the
slightly lower ground surface suggests the presence of an infilled ditch. On
the east side no earthworks are visible and the banks appear to have been
destroyed in that area. The overall size of the enclosure is about 70m
north-south by 60m east-west. The enclosure was discovered early in 1982 and
was later surveyed when the heather had been swaled.
A small bowl barrow consisting of a mound of evenly rounded profile, 11m in
diameter and c.1m in height, lies in the SSW of the interior of the enclosure.
There is no evidence that it was surrounded by a ditch. The south west edge of
the mound lies on the alignment of the inner bank of the enclosure.
A larger barrow consisting of a mound of evenly rounded profile, 24m in
diameter and c.1.8m in height, surrounded by a ditch 3m wide and 0.3m deep,
lies 10m to the south east of the enclosure. Antiquarian investigation in 1869
when a trench was cut into the centre of the mound from the south, revealed
that the mound consisted of a layer of dark soil over a cairn of flints. The
cairn was not investigated and the excavation trench was subsequently
The area of ground between the enclosure and the south eastern barrow is
archaeologically sensitive in that it will contain burials, evidence of
related activity, and archaeological evidence for a chronological relationship
between the enclosure and the barrow.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Enclosures are discrete plots of land enclosed by banks of stone and earth
which date from the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC) into the Roman period (AD 43 -
450), although earlier and later examples also exist. They were constructed as
stock pens or as protected areas for crop growing, and were sometimes
subdivided to accommodate stock and hut circle dwellings for farmers or
herdsmen. The size and form of enclosures may therefore vary considerably
depending on their particular function. Their variation in form, longevity and
relationship to other monument classes provide important information on the
diversity of social organisation and farming practices in the past. A
substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of
The enclosure on Gittisham Hill is unusual in that it lacks any currently
recognised local parallels. The physical relationship between the enclosure
and the barrows increases the archaeological potential of this monument.
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 a
considerable diversity of burial rite, plan and form, frequently including
several different types of round barrow. Where large scale investigation has
been undertaken around them, contemporary or later `flat' burials have often
been revealed between the barrow mounds. Round barrow cemeteries often occupy
prominent locations, they are a major historic element in the modern
landscape, whilst their diversity and 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.
The barrow in the enclosure survives in good condition and is one of the
smaller barrows in the Gittisham Hill cemetery. The eastern barrow, although
partly disturbed by an antiquarian investigation, has the entire central
cairn and base of the barrow intact. These barrows are two of 13 that form the
Gittisham Hill barrow cemetery.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Quinnel, N, Gittisham Hill Ringwork, (1982)
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)
Kirwan, R, 'Report of the Transactions of the Devonshire Association' in Notes On The Prehistoric Archaeology of East Devon, Part III, , Vol. 4, (1870), 295-304
Simpson, S, Noble, S, 'Exeter Museums Archaeological Field Unit Report' in Archaeological Survey & Management Study of Areas of E Devon, (1993)
Simpson, S, Noble, S, 'Exeter Museums Archaeological Field Unit Report' in Archaeological Survey & Management Study of Areas of E Devon, (1993)

Source: Historic England

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