Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Two bowl barrows 180m south west of Hampson Cottage

A Scheduled Monument in Bow, Devon

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Latitude: 50.8001 / 50°48'0"N

Longitude: -3.8293 / 3°49'45"W

OS Eastings: 271182.790739

OS Northings: 101652.247038

OS Grid: SS711016

Mapcode National: GBR L1.YXC4

Mapcode Global: FRA 26VZ.KYN

Entry Name: Two bowl barrows 180m south west of Hampson Cottage

Scheduled Date: 21 February 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015475

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28636

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Bow

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Bow (or Nymet Tracey) with Broad Nymet

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


This monument includes two bowl barrows, aligned broadly north-south, 180m
south west of Hampson Cottage, Bow. They lie on a ridge which overlooks the
valleys of the River Yeo to the south and the Venn Lake to the north. These
features form part of a complex of ritual and funerary monuments centred
around the village of Bow. The placename `Nymett' associated with the site, is
thought to have Celtic sacred significance.
The northern barrow survives as a circular mound with a diameter of 18.5m
and is 0.4m high. The ditch from which material to construct the mound was
quarried, surrounds the barrow, is preserved as a buried feature and is
clearly visible on the aerial photographs. The barrow underlies a field
boundary bank but is seen to survive on both sides of the boundary.
The southernmost barrow survives as a slightly raised and flattened
circular mound with a diameter of 22m and is 0.35m high. This partly underlies
a field boundary on its eastern side. The quarry ditch is preserved as a
buried feature visible on aerial photographs.
Many of the other funerary and ritual monuments in the area are the subject of
separate schedulings.
The field boundary bank overlying this monument is excluded from the
scheduling, but the ground below 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

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 plough damage, the bowl barrows 180m south west of Hampson Cottage
survive comparatively well and contain archaeological and environmental
information relating to the mounds and their surrounding landscape. These
mounds form part of a cluster of funerary and ritual monuments situated close
to the present day village of Bow.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Griffith, F M, 'Prehistoric Society Proceedings' in Some Newly Discovered Ritual Monuments in Mid Devon, , Vol. 51, (1985), 314
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SS70SW127, (1991)
MPP fieldwork by H. Gerrard, (1995)
MPP fieldwork by H. Gerrard, (1996)

Source: Historic England

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