Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Four bowl barrows and a standing stone 330m west of Higher Mattocks Down

A Scheduled Monument in Berrynarbor, Devon

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Latitude: 51.1772 / 51°10'37"N

Longitude: -4.003 / 4°0'10"W

OS Eastings: 260083.989075

OS Northings: 143899.086875

OS Grid: SS600438

Mapcode National: GBR KT.61QK

Mapcode Global: VH4MD.KNMY

Entry Name: Four bowl barrows and a standing stone 330m west of Higher Mattocks Down

Scheduled Date: 13 February 1953

Last Amended: 7 July 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016656

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32216

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Berrynarbor

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: East Down St John the Baptist

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


This monument includes four bowl barrows and a standing stone situated in an
elevated upland location overlooking the valleys of two tributaries to the
River Yeo. All four barrows survive as circular mounds with encircling quarry
ditches, from which material was derived during their construction. The mounds
vary between 20.3m and 24.4m across and from 0.5m to 1.2m high. The ditches
all survive as buried features from 3m to 5m wide. The standing stone is
located on the south western edge of the central barrow and measures 1.5m
long, 0.8m wide at the base and 2.5m high. A few scattered flints have been
retrieved from the area surrounding these barrows and standing stone.
The field boundary which crosses the monument is excluded from the scheduling,
although the ground beneath is included.

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

Despite reduction in their height through cultivation, the four bowl barrows
330m west of Mattocks Down survive well, and all four barrows will contain
archaeological and environmental evidence relating to their use and
construction, and the surrounding landscape. These barrows form part of a
dispersed group. Despite having been shortened and damaged by a lightning
strike in its more recent history the standing stone and the socket into which
it is located will also contain archaeological information. A further standing
stone to the east is the subject of a separate scheduling.

Source: Historic England


Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SS56SW3, (1982)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SS64SW18, (1982)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SS64SW2, (1983)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SS64SW3, (1982)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SS64SW37, (1972)

Source: Historic England

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