Ancient Monuments

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Bowl barrow at Bovey Fir Cross, 500m south of Bovey House

A Scheduled Monument in Beer, Devon

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Latitude: 50.7029 / 50°42'10"N

Longitude: -3.1212 / 3°7'16"W

OS Eastings: 320916.4842

OS Northings: 89845.02

OS Grid: SY209898

Mapcode National: GBR PC.S8SQ

Mapcode Global: FRA 47B7.5TC

Entry Name: Bowl barrow at Bovey Fir Cross, 500m south of Bovey House

Scheduled Date: 13 February 1953

Last Amended: 18 September 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018055

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29656

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Beer

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Beer St Michael

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


The monument includes a Bronze Age bowl barrow lying immediately west of the
road junction at Bovey Fir Cross south of Bovey House. The barrow is sited on
a flat-topped hill which stands in a neck of land between two steep sided
valleys about 1.8km inland from the coast.
The barrow survives as a rounded mound 1.7m high and 18m in diameter which has
been reduced by ploughing. There is evidence of an encircling quarry ditch in
the form of a slight depression and an outer lip visible to the south east of
the barrow mound. This suggests that a ditch survives as a buried feature.
Evidence from early documents and tithe apportionments record the place-names
of Bellins-burrow, Balins barrow, and Ballingsborough in the vicinity of this

Excluded from the scheduling is all fencing, although the ground beneath it is

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 bowl barrow 500m south of Bovey House at Bovey Fir Cross survives as an
isolated example of its type in an area where few barrows are recorded.
Despite having been reduced by ploughing, it will retain archaeological
information about the barrow and the landscape in which it was constructed.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society' in The Barrows of South and East Devon, , Vol. 41, (1983), 28
Bray, M, (1988)
Title: Map in parish file
Source Date: 1984

Source: Historic England

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