Ancient Monuments

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The Devil's Bed and Bolster long barrow

A Scheduled Monument in Rode, Somerset

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Latitude: 51.2788 / 51°16'43"N

Longitude: -2.2667 / 2°16'0"W

OS Eastings: 381494.529

OS Northings: 153333.041

OS Grid: ST814533

Mapcode National: GBR 0RS.PS1

Mapcode Global: VH977.N3KZ

Entry Name: The Devil's Bed and Bolster long barrow

Scheduled Date: 18 October 1976

Last Amended: 23 December 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017897

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29782

County: Somerset

Civil Parish: Rode

Built-Up Area: Rode

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset


The monument includes a long barrow situated on a slight east-west ridge at
Mount Pleasant on the northern boundary of the parish of Beckington.
The barrow is orientated east-west and has a mound approximately 35m long with
a maximum width of 21m. Although no longer visible on the surface, side
ditches flank either side of the mound and survive as buried features
approximately 3m wide. The west end of the mound is under cultivation and
survives as a low rise approximately 0.3m high that gradually merges with the
natural ridge. The east end survives as a heavily disturbed mound up to 1m
high within an area of mature trees. Along the central axis of this end of the
mound are a number of large stones, both upright and recumbent and it has been
suggested that these may have formed parts of a central passage and side

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

Long barrows were constructed as earthen or drystone mounds with flanking
ditches and acted as funerary monuments during the Early and Middle Neolithic
periods (3400-2400 BC). They represent the burial places of Britain's early
farming communities and, as such, are amongst the oldest field monuments
surviving visibly in the present landscape. Where investigated, long barrows
appear to have been used for communal burial, often with only parts of the
human remains having been selected for interment. Certain sites provide
evidence for several phases of funerary monument preceding the barrow and,
consequently, it is probable that long barrows acted as important ritual sites
for local communities over a considerable period of time. Some 500 examples of
long barrows and long cairns, their counterparts in the uplands, are recorded
nationally. As one of the few types of Neolithic structure to survive as
earthworks, and due to their comparative rarity, their considerable age and
their longevity as a monument type, all long barrows are considered to be
nationally important.

Although the Devil's Bed and Bolster long barrow has been eroded and
disturbed in the past, it will include archaeological remains containing
information about Neolithic beliefs, economy and environment.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Bullied, A, 'PSANHS' in Chambered Long Barrows of North Somerset, (1942), 68-69
Bullied, A, 'PSANHS' in Chambered Long Barrows of North Somerset, (1942), 68-69

Source: Historic England

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