Ancient Monuments

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Two bowl barrows on Woodbury Common, both 330m east of Four Firs

A Scheduled Monument in Woodbury, Devon

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Latitude: 50.6698 / 50°40'11"N

Longitude: -3.3677 / 3°22'3"W

OS Eastings: 303442.2446

OS Northings: 86459.2126

OS Grid: SY034864

Mapcode National: GBR P5.GG2S

Mapcode Global: FRA 37T9.RSB

Entry Name: Two bowl barrows on Woodbury Common, both 330m east of Four Firs

Scheduled Date: 10 August 1923

Last Amended: 18 September 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018050

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29651

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Woodbury

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Woodbury with Exton

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


The monument, which falls into two separate areas, includes two Bronze Age
bowl barrows aligned north - south and situated about 40m apart on Woodbury
Common. The barrows lie on relatively flat ground on the south facing part of
the common on either side of the B3179 Yettington to Woodbury road.
Both barrows have clear bowl-shaped profiles varying in height between 2m
for the northern barrow to 2.5m for the southern. Both barrow mounds have a
diameter of 14m and both are surrounded by quarry ditches. The northern barrow
has an encircling ditch 2.5m wide and 0.5m deep whilst the southern has an
encircling ditch 1.9m wide and 0.4m deep. Both mounds are surrounded at a
further distance by a bank, and an outer ditch of perhaps more recent
construction thought to be part of a landscaping modification of the late 18th
or early 19th century, which are not included in the scheduling.

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 two bowl barrows on Woodbury Common survive well in association with a
number of other recorded barrows in the vicinity. Both barrows will retain
archaeological information about their construction and the region in which
they were set, and both have evidence for their modification as part of post-
medieval landscaping of this area.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
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, , Vol. 41, (1983), 45
Tyler, F C, 'Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries' in Mounds on Woodbury Common, , Vol. 16, (1931), 340
Probert, S A J, RCHME Field Investigation, (1990)

Source: Historic England

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