Ancient Monuments

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Two cairns, 780m ESE of Triscombe Farm

A Scheduled Monument in West Bagborough, Somerset

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Latitude: 51.1103 / 51°6'37"N

Longitude: -3.1985 / 3°11'54"W

OS Eastings: 316197.369825

OS Northings: 135239.26259

OS Grid: ST161352

Mapcode National: GBR LX.B7J4

Mapcode Global: VH6H4.HCY5

Entry Name: Two cairns, 780m ESE of Triscombe Farm

Scheduled Date: 7 July 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016706

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32175

County: Somerset

Civil Parish: West Bagborough

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset


The monument includes two Bronze Age cairns aligned from north west to south
east along the crest of a north western spur on Wills Neck, a high, broad
plateau in the southern region of the Quantock Hills. The cairn located to the
north west is 23m in diameter and approximately 1m high. A post-medieval
reference suggests that this cairn may have been used as a fire signal site
although there are now no visible signs of this on its surface. The second
cairn is located to the south east of the former with a distance of 10m
separating the two mounds; it is 28m in diameter and approximately 0.5m high.
Both cairns have hollow and uneven centres, a possible indication that the
cairns were partly excavated in antiquity.
Additional cairns surviving on Wills Neck are the subject of separate

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 earthwork features are one of the key components
of the Quantocks' broader landscape character.
Round cairns are prehistoric funerary monuments dating to the Bronze Age
(c.2000-700 BC). They were constructed as earthen or rubble mounds, the latter
predominating in areas of upland Britain where such raw materials were locally
available in abundance. Round cairns may cover single or multiple burials and
are sometimes surrounded by an outer ditch. Often occupying prominent
locations, they are a major visual element in the modern landscape. Their
considerable variation in form and longevity as a monument type provide
important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation
amongst early prehistoric communities. Twelve round cairns have been recorded
on the Quantocks, although the original figure is likely to have been higher.
They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial
proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.

The two cairns located 780m ESE of Triscombe Farm survive comparatively well
and form part of a larger group situated on Wills Neck. They will contain
archaeological deposits and environmental evidence relating to the cairns 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), 40
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of Somerset Archaelogical & Natural History Society' in Somerset Barrows, (1969), 40

Source: Historic England

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