Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Two bowl barrows 210m and 600m north west of Brown Down Cottage

A Scheduled Monument in Otterford, Somerset

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Latitude: 50.9076 / 50°54'27"N

Longitude: -3.0906 / 3°5'26"W

OS Eastings: 323415.9515

OS Northings: 112580.1456

OS Grid: ST234125

Mapcode National: GBR M1.R4TY

Mapcode Global: FRA 46DP.ZQY

Entry Name: Two bowl barrows 210m and 600m north west of Brown Down Cottage

Scheduled Date: 15 March 1948

Last Amended: 7 July 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016414

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32166

County: Somerset

Civil Parish: Otterford

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset


The monument, which falls into two separate areas, includes two bowl barrows
forming part of a group of nine round barrows known as Robin Hood's Butts,
located on Brown Down in the eastern region of the Blackdown Hills. These
barrows are aligned broadly ESE to WNW.
The mound of the barrow to the west is 38m in diameter, approximately 1.5m
high and is surrounded by a ditch 3m wide with an average depth of 0.4m.
The barrow to the east survives as an irregular rise in the ground level, but
was previously recorded as 23m from east to west and 18.5m from north to
south. Surrounding the mound is a ditch from which material was quarried
during its construction. This has become infilled over the years and survives
as a buried feature approximately 2.5m wide, giving the barrow a maximum
overall diameter of 28m.

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

The two bowl barrows located 210m and 600m north west of Brown Down Cottage
form part of a larger group of barrows collectively known as Robin Hood's
Butts. The most western of the two survives well and, despite the mound of the
barrow to the south east having been reduced by ploughing, both contain
archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and
the wider landscape in which they were constructed.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of Somerset Archaelogical & Natural History Society' in Somerset Barrows, (1969), 37
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of Somerset Archaelogical & Natural History Society' in Somerset Barrows, (1969), 37

Source: Historic England

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