Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Three bowl barrows 620m south east of Fordy Bridge

A Scheduled Monument in Thorverton, Devon

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Latitude: 50.7982 / 50°47'53"N

Longitude: -3.5443 / 3°32'39"W

OS Eastings: 291265.5444

OS Northings: 100984.896

OS Grid: SS912009

Mapcode National: GBR LF.Z3XQ

Mapcode Global: FRA 36GZ.H1Y

Entry Name: Three bowl barrows 620m south east of Fordy Bridge

Scheduled Date: 30 July 1964

Last Amended: 29 October 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017133

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32231

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Thorverton

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Thorverton St Thomas of Canterbury

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


This monument which is divided into three separate areas, includes three bowl
barrows situated on a ridge overlooking the valley of a tributary to the River
The monument survives as three circular mounds of varying size in a linear
arrangement aligned roughly east to west. Each mound has a surrounding quarry
ditch from which material to construct the barrow was derived, all three
ditches survive as 3m wide buried features. The western mound measures 43.4m
in diameter and is 1m high, the central mound is 33.7m in diameter and 0.8m
high, and the easternmost mound measures 34.8m in diameter and 0.9m high.
The western barrow was part excavated in 1869. It now supports a concrete base
which measures 6.6m long by 4.1m wide topped by a metal well head.
The concrete base and metal well head are 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

The three bowl barrows 620m south east of Fordy Bridge survive comparatively
well, despite reduction in their heights through cultivation, and for the
western barrow, the insertion of a well head. Part excavation of the western
barrow indicates that they will all contain archaeological information
relating to the construction and use of the monument and also environmental
evidence concerning the surrounding landscape.

Source: Historic England


Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SS90SW17, (1991)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SS90SW31, (1991)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SS90SW44, (1991)

Source: Historic England

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