Ancient Monuments

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Two bowl barrows on Bicton Common, 770m and 780m north of Frying Pans

A Scheduled Monument in Bicton, Devon

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Latitude: 50.664 / 50°39'50"N

Longitude: -3.3627 / 3°21'45"W

OS Eastings: 303784.4219

OS Northings: 85808.572

OS Grid: SY037858

Mapcode National: GBR P5.GX0K

Mapcode Global: FRA 37VB.1RG

Entry Name: Two bowl barrows on Bicton Common, 770m and 780m north of Frying Pans

Scheduled Date: 10 August 1923

Last Amended: 18 September 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018047

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29648

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Bicton

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: East Budleigh All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


The monument, which falls into two separate areas, includes two mounds shown
on the First Edition Ordnance Survey map of 1889; these mounds have been
interpreted as Bronze Age bowl barrows. They are situated about 50m apart on
Bicton Common just above Yettington Intakes. The barrows lie on the higher
edge of a gentle south facing valley slope that was created by a small stream
which feeds the Budleigh Brook.
Both mounds are just over 1m high. The westernmost mound has a diameter of
5.5m whilst its companion to the east has a diameter of 4.6m. The western
mound has a slight flattening of its dome whilst the dome of the eastern mound
has a central flattened area about 1.7m in diameter. They are each surrounded
by a ditch 0.7m wide and 0.4m deep which in each case is bridged by a
compacted turf causeway on the northern side of the mound. The causeway on the
westernmost mound is about 1.3m wide and extends back from the mound for a
distance of about 4.7m, whilst that on the easternmost mound is about 1m wide
and extends back from the mound for a distance of 2m. The surrounding ditches
and causeways, and the flattened appearance of the mounds, are all believed to
be the result of modification of the barrows, perhaps for use as gun
emplacements, which took place when the area was utilised as a military
training ground and firing area in World War II.

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

Despite some modification as a result of modern military activity the two bowl
barrows on Bicton Common survive comparatively well. They are in an unusual
setting on a valley slope and they stand in association with a number of other
recorded barrows in the vicinity. Both barrows will retain archaeological
information about their construction and the landscape in which they were set.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Griffiths, D, DCC Cons. Dept. Survey of Mineral Areas, (1982)
Southwell, C, An Archaeological Survey of Woodbury Common, (1980)
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society' in The Barrows of South and East Devon, (1983), 28
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society' in The Barrows of South and East Devon, (1983), 28
Probert, S A J, RCHME Field Investigation, (1990)
Probert, S A J, RCHME Field Investigation, (1990)

Source: Historic England

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