Ancient Monuments

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Bowl barrow on Cothelstone Hill, 885m NNE of St Agnes' Well

A Scheduled Monument in Bishop's Lydeard, Somerset

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Latitude: 51.0873 / 51°5'14"N

Longitude: -3.1603 / 3°9'37"W

OS Eastings: 318830.046815

OS Northings: 132633.2446

OS Grid: ST188326

Mapcode National: GBR LY.CZ1C

Mapcode Global: FRA 4687.W1R

Entry Name: Bowl barrow on Cothelstone Hill, 885m NNE of St Agnes' Well

Scheduled Date: 23 June 1975

Last Amended: 7 February 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015950

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29359

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 of Cothelstone Hill, at
the south west extent of the sandstone ridge of the Quantocks.
The mound is slightly ovoid, measuring 12.5m north-south, and 15m east-west.
It stands to a height of 1.2m. It is disturbed by a pathway on its northern
side, and its top shows evidence of possible antiquarian investigation in the
form of a hollow 1.5m by 1m.
It was first noticed by L V Grinsell in 1957.

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 barrow, towards the western end of the hill, survives well and will
contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the structure,
function and period of construction of the monument.

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
Neolithic & Bronze Age flint, Flint scatter 43034,

Source: Historic England

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