Ancient Monuments

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Two bowl barrows, one 380m west and one 685m north west of Beech Croft

A Scheduled Monument in Otterford, Somerset

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Latitude: 50.9129 / 50°54'46"N

Longitude: -3.0885 / 3°5'18"W

OS Eastings: 323574.0478

OS Northings: 113170.1998

OS Grid: ST235131

Mapcode National: GBR M1.QZ7V

Mapcode Global: FRA 46FP.DMH

Entry Name: Two bowl barrows, one 380m west and one 685m north west of Beech Croft

Scheduled Date: 3 July 1946

Last Amended: 7 July 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016415

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32167

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.
The two bowl barrows are aligned broadly from north west to south east. The
mound of the northern barrow is approximately 4m high and 36m in diameter. The
mound of the southern barrow is approximately 3.5m high and 38m in diameter.
Each mound is surrounded by a ditch, approximately 3m wide, from which
material was quarried during their construction and which now survive as
shallow depressions, giving the barrows maximum overall diameters of 42m and
44m respectively. The ditch on the south side of the southern barrow has been
cut by the drainage ditch which runs parallel to the boundary hedge.
A report published in 1818 mentions a part excavation of one of the barrows
where a cremation was found above a foundation of large stones. It is thought
likely that the report refers to the southern barrow where a hollow is visible
on the mound.
All fenceposts 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

The two bowl barrows located 350m west and 650m north west of Beech Croft form
part of a larger group of barrows collectively known as Robin Hood's Butts.
Both barrows survive well, and, despite part of the ditch on the southern
barrow having been cut by a drainage ditch, contain archaeological deposits
and environmental evidence relating to the barrows 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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