Ancient Monuments

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Two bowl barrows and a round cairn on Lydeard Hill, 750m north of Tilbury Farm

A Scheduled Monument in West Bagborough, Somerset

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Latitude: 51.1013 / 51°6'4"N

Longitude: -3.1738 / 3°10'25"W

OS Eastings: 317907.0976

OS Northings: 134204.5934

OS Grid: ST179342

Mapcode National: GBR LY.BV20

Mapcode Global: VH6H4.XLZ4

Entry Name: Two bowl barrows and a round cairn on Lydeard Hill, 750m north of Tilbury Farm

Scheduled Date: 23 June 1975

Last Amended: 7 July 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016499

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32171

County: Somerset

Civil Parish: West Bagborough

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset


The monument, which falls into three areas, includes two Bronze Age bowl
barrows and a Bronze Age round cairn aligned broadly from east to west along
the crest of Lydeard Hill in the south western region of the Quantock Hills.
The easternmost bowl barrow is 21m in diameter and 1.8m high with a large
hollow centre; it has previously been recorded with a surrounding quarry ditch
3m wide which has become infilled over the years but which will survive as a
buried feature. About 250m to the west is a bowl barrow 20m in diameter and
1.5m high which has been dug into on its southern side; it too is likely to
have possessed a surrounding quarry ditch which will survive as a buried
feature. The westernmost barrow, which lies a further 150m WNW, takes the form
of round cairn (where the mound material contains a greater proportion of
stone rather than earth), which is 21m in diameter and a maximum of 1m high.
This cairn has a hollow centre which may be the result of antiquarian
investigation; spoil heaps adjacent to the mounds of both of the bowl barrows
are also considered to be the result of these unrecorded excavations.

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

The two bowl barrows and a round cairn on Lydeard Hill survive comparatively
well despite possible antiquarian disturbance. Bowl barrows and round cairns
in close proximity are a recognised feature of the Bronze Age period on the
Quantock Hills with the cairns forming a rarer class of monument. The pair of
barrows and a cairn on Lydeard Hill will contain archaeological deposits and
environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it
was constructed.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of Somerset Archaelogical & Natural History Society' in Somerset Barrows, , Vol. 113, (1969), 27
43002, (1985)
43609, (1986)

Source: Historic England

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