Ancient Monuments

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Two bowl barrows 300m north west of Northay Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Whitestaunton, Somerset

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Latitude: 50.8984 / 50°53'54"N

Longitude: -3.0238 / 3°1'25"W

OS Eastings: 328097.262363

OS Northings: 111494.727954

OS Grid: ST280114

Mapcode National: GBR M4.RPRR

Mapcode Global: FRA 46KQ.MSN

Entry Name: Two bowl barrows 300m north west of Northay Farm

Scheduled Date: 18 April 1977

Last Amended: 7 July 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016413

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32165

County: Somerset

Civil Parish: Whitestaunton

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset

Church of England Parish: Whitestaunton

Church of England Diocese: Bath and Wells


The monument includes two bowl barrows situated on the crest of a south facing
slope in the eastern region of the Blackdown Hills.
The barrows are adjacent to one another, broadly following a north to south
alignment, with the ditch of the barrow to the south partly overlying the
ditch of the barrow to the north. The mound of the southern barrow is oval-
shaped, approximately 1m high, 21m long and 16m wide and is surrounded by a
ditch from which material was quarried during its construction. This has
become infilled and survives as a buried feature visible on aerial
photographs, from which it can be calculated to be approximately 2m wide.
Part of the northern barrow has been truncated on the north eastern side
by the construction of a road. The profile of the remaining section of the
mound has become blurred by cultivation, however, previous survey has shown
the mound to be oval and approximately 18m wide.
A part excavation of both barrows was carried out in 1876. The northern
barrow revealed a `barrel-shaped' pottery urn, inverted over a mixture of
burnt bones and ash, and a small cup containing more burnt bone and ash which
may have been an interment of a mother and infant. Further finds, including
inhumations, possibly sacrificial, and a bronze dagger blade were also
recovered during the excavation. A ring of stones and several inverted urns
standing on square clay tiles, together with a cist containing ashes were
among the finds recovered from the southern barrow.
All fence posts and telegraph poles are excluded from the scheduling, although
the ground beneath them is included.

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

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 part of one of the bowl barrows being truncated by the construction of
a road, the remaining section of this and its adjoining barrow survive well.
Part excavation has shown that they contain archaeological deposits and
environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it
was constructed.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Elton, C I, 'Proceedings of the Archaeological and Natural History Society' in Northay Barrow, , Vol. 28,Pt 1, (1876), 37-40
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of Somerset Archaelogical & Natural History Society' in Somerset Barrows, , Vol. 113, pt1, (1969), 41

Source: Historic England

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