Ancient Monuments

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Three bowl barrows 545m east of Cupper's Piece

A Scheduled Monument in Ashreigney, Devon

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Latitude: 50.9113 / 50°54'40"N

Longitude: -4.0159 / 4°0'57"W

OS Eastings: 258372.044

OS Northings: 114359.540823

OS Grid: SS583143

Mapcode National: GBR KS.QY74

Mapcode Global: FRA 26GP.R85

Entry Name: Three bowl barrows 545m east of Cupper's Piece

Scheduled Date: 18 November 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015146

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28605

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Ashreigney

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Ashreigney St James

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


This monument includes three bowl barrows situated on an exposed hilltop on
the watershed between the River Torridge to the west and River Taw to the
east. The western barrow survives as an oval, flat topped mound measuring 25m
long east to west by 20m long north to south and standing up to 0.7m high. A
slight hollow in the centre of the mound may represent robbing or an early
part excavation. The ditch from which material was derived to construct the
mound is preserved as a buried feature c.2m wide.
The southern barrow is the largest of the three and survives as a prominent
oval mound which measures 29.5m long from east to west, 24.3m long from north
to south and is 0.9m high. The ditch from which material to build the mound
was derived survives as a buried feature, except to the north where it is 3.9m
wide and 0.3m deep. Sitting on the outer edge of the ditch is a section of
outer bank measuring 3.4m wide and up to 0.2m high.
The north eastern barrow survives as an oval flat topped mound. It measures
22.3m long from east to west, 20.9m long from north to south and is 0.6m high.
The ditch from which the material used to construct the mound was derived
survives as a buried feature, and the ground appears to be particularly
waterlogged on the southern side, thus indicating the position of the ditch.

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

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. Often occupying prominent locations, they are
a major historic element in the modern landscape and their considerable
variation of form and longevity as a monument type provide important
information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisations amongst early
prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period
and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of

Despite limited plough damage, the three bowl barrows 545m east of Cupper's
Piece survive comparatively well and contain archaeological and
environmental information relating to the barrows and their surrounding
landscape. The outer bank partly surrounding one of the mounds is an unusual
feature. These barrows form part of a group lying on the watershed between the
Rivers Taw and Torridge.

Source: Historic England


Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SS51SE3-02, (1984)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SS51SE3-03, (1984)
MPP fieldwork by H. Gerrard, (1995)

Source: Historic England

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