Ancient Monuments

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Two bowl barrows at Big Wood, 580m south west and 470m south of Moorland Cottage

A Scheduled Monument in Exmouth, Devon

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Latitude: 50.6496 / 50°38'58"N

Longitude: -3.3747 / 3°22'28"W

OS Eastings: 302907.7815

OS Northings: 84221.0747

OS Grid: SY029842

Mapcode National: GBR P5.HS6R

Mapcode Global: FRA 37TC.927

Entry Name: Two bowl barrows at Big Wood, 580m south west and 470m south of Moorland Cottage

Scheduled Date: 9 October 1981

Last Amended: 23 April 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017949

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29643

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Exmouth

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Withycombe Raleigh St John the Evangelist

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


The monument, which falls into two areas, includes two Bronze Age bowl barrows
situated about 400m apart in Big Wood just south of Lympestone Common. The
barrows lie near the crest of a spur on its south facing slope overlooking the
estuary and the mouth of the River Exe.
The westernmost barrow is 6m high and 16m in diameter with a rather conical
and steep sided profile but flat-topped. It has a matrix of stony red soil
with no trace of a surrounding quarry ditch. The other barrow further to the
east and opposite Wright's Lane is of similar appearance but is 8m high and
20m in diameter.
All fencing is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these
features is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

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 two bowl barrows in Big Wood are well preserved examples of their class of
monument, set in a commanding position overlooking the Exe estuary. They are
unusually high and will retain many of their original features providing
information about the barrows and the landscape in which they were

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society' in The Barrows of South and East Devon, (1983), 32
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society' in The Barrows of South and East Devon, (1983)
Fox, A, (1950)

Source: Historic England

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