Ancient Monuments

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Two bowl barrows on Woodbury Common, 640m and 625m east of Four Firs

A Scheduled Monument in Woodbury, Devon

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Latitude: 50.669 / 50°40'8"N

Longitude: -3.3633 / 3°21'47"W

OS Eastings: 303752.5766

OS Northings: 86362.2708

OS Grid: SY037863

Mapcode National: GBR P5.GH9N

Mapcode Global: FRA 37V9.MK0

Entry Name: Two bowl barrows on Woodbury Common, 640m and 625m east of Four Firs

Scheduled Date: 10 August 1923

Last Amended: 18 September 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018051

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29652

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 situated about 35m apart on Woodbury Common
on relatively flat ground above a south facing slope. The barrows lie either
side of the B3179 Yettington to Woodbury road.
The northern barrow is 1.5m high and 16m in diameter; it has a near circular
depression on the south west side of its mound which may be the result of
excavation which took place in the 1930s. The southern barrow is 2.8m high
with a diameter of 15m. A ditch, 1.8m wide and 0.2m deep, is visible
surrounding the southern and western quadrants of this barrow and this almost
certainly represents the visible part of an encircling ditch. The remaining
portion of this ditch and that surrounding the northern barrow survive as
buried features. A bank to the west of the barrow, which is not included in
the scheduling, is thought to be of more recent origin as it appears to
continue southwards.
Excluded from the scheduling is all car park surfacing and its make up, and
the signpost at the base of the northern barrow, although the ground beneath
these features 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

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 landscape in which
they were set.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Brighouse, U W , Woodbury A View from the Beacon, (1981)
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), 45
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society' in The Barrows of South and East Devon, (1983), 45

Source: Historic England

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