Ancient Monuments

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Thorn Barrow 520m south east of Coop, in Highermoor Plantations

A Scheduled Monument in Broadwoodwidger, Devon

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Latitude: 50.7395 / 50°44'22"N

Longitude: -4.2432 / 4°14'35"W

OS Eastings: 241813.92833

OS Northings: 95725.5376

OS Grid: SX418957

Mapcode National: GBR NR.2MX9

Mapcode Global: FRA 2704.0QR

Entry Name: Thorn Barrow 520m south east of Coop, in Highermoor Plantations

Scheduled Date: 13 October 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017144

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32224

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Broadwoodwidger

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


This monument includes a bowl barrow known as Thorn Barrow, situated on a high
upland ridge overlooking the valley of a tributary to the River Wolf. It is
one of a number of single, widely dispersed barrows which lie in this area and
are each the subject of separate schedulings. The monument survives as an oval
mound which measures 49.5m north to south and 42.9m east to west and is up to
1.6m high. The surrounding quarry ditch from which material to construct the
mound was derived is preserved as a buried feature which measures up to
approximately 5m wide. The profile of the mound is very uneven, and is
slightly lower in the south western quadrant. There is also evidence of old
excavations in the form of an oval depression in the summit on the north
eastern side which measures 9.5m long north east to south west, 8m wide south
west to north east and is 0.2m deep, except for a smaller area which measures
approximately 3.5m in diameter to the north which is 0.4m deep.
The field boundary bank which crosses the outer edge of the ditch to the north
west 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

Thorn Barrow survives comparatively well, despite disturbance through previous
commercial forestry activities and excavations, perhaps in antiquity. It forms
part of a group of widely dispersed barrows occupying the summits of most of
the ridges in this area, where single barrows appear more commonly than
groups. It will contain archaeological information relating to the
construction and use of the monument and also environmental evidence about the
surrounding landscape.

Source: Historic England


Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX49NW8, (1986)

Source: Historic England

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