Ancient Monuments

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Bowl barrow on Cothelstone Hill, 1.07km north east of St Agnes' Well

A Scheduled Monument in Bishop's Lydeard, Somerset

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Latitude: 51.0875 / 51°5'14"N

Longitude: -3.1561 / 3°9'22"W

OS Eastings: 319120.674951

OS Northings: 132655.581825

OS Grid: ST191326

Mapcode National: GBR LZ.CL7N

Mapcode Global: FRA 4687.XXR

Entry Name: Bowl barrow on Cothelstone Hill, 1.07km north east of St Agnes' Well

Scheduled Date: 23 June 1975

Last Amended: 7 February 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015087

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29361

County: Somerset

Civil Parish: Bishop's Lydeard

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset


The monument includes a bowl barrow on the hill-top plateau of Cothelstone
Hill on the Quantocks. It is an irregular elongated mound, partly surrounded
by a ditch, possibly altered from its original structure. The mound is 27.6m
in length and 12m-14m wide, standing up to 1.2m above the ditch, which is
evident to the north, west and east, 2.5m-3.5m in width.
It was first noted as a barrow by L V Grinsell in 1969.

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

The area of the Quantock Hills, although small in extent, is one of the few
remaining expanses of open moorland in southern Britain. Its archaeological
importance lies in the existence of a landscape displaying examples of
monuments tracing the exploitation of the hills from the Bronze Age onwards.
Well-preserved monuments from the Bronze Age and Iron Age, including round
barrows, cairns, settlements, hillforts and a trackway, as well as later
industrial remains, give insights into changes in the pattern of land use on
the hills through time. These earthworks are one of the key components of the
Quantocks' broader landscape character.
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. In excess of 30 bowl barrows can be found on
the Quantock Hills. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major
historic element in the modern landscape and their considerable variation in
form and longevity as a monument type provide important information on the
diversity of beliefs and social organisations among early prehistoric
communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a
substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of

Cothelstone Hill lies at the south end of the sandstone ridge of the
Quantocks, has high visitor rates and exhibits a range of monuments in a
comparatively small area.
The bowl barrow on Cothelstone Hill survives well, despite possibly having
been subject to alterations and will contain archaeological and environmental
evidence relating to its structure, function and period of construction.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of the Smerset Archaeological and Nat.Hist Society' in Somerset Barrows Part 1, , Vol. 113, (1969), 28

Source: Historic England

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