Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Bowl barrow at Gallantry Bower

A Scheduled Monument in Clovelly, Devon

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Latitude: 51.0105 / 51°0'37"N

Longitude: -4.4179 / 4°25'4"W

OS Eastings: 230473.794822

OS Northings: 126239.8664

OS Grid: SS304262

Mapcode National: GBR K7.JQLY

Mapcode Global: FRA 16MF.YFH

Entry Name: Bowl barrow at Gallantry Bower

Scheduled Date: 14 January 1970

Last Amended: 15 February 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018520

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32191

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Clovelly

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Clovelly All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


This monument includes a bowl barrow which is situated near to a north facing
cliff edge on a promontory known as Gallantry Bower. The barrow survives as a
9.3m diameter mound standing up to 1.1m high, surrounded by a 2.1m wide and
0.6m deep ditch. Sitting on the outer edge of this ditch is a 3.3m wide bank
standing up to 0.4m high. At least six edge set stones within the northern
side of this bank may indicate the presence of a kerb, which survives
elsewhere as a buried feature. The monument measures 19.9m in overall
diameter. A 2m wide and 0.4m deep trench cutting across the mound from north
west to south east may be the result of a partial early excavation or robbing.
Given the prominent location of the barrow, it has been suggested that it
may have been reused in historic times as a beacon.

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 evidence for partial excavation, the bowl barrow at Gallantry Bower
survives well in a prominent location overlooking Bideford Bay. Archaeological
and environmental information relating to the monument and the landscape in
which it was constructed survives in and under this mound and encircling bank.
Bowl barrows with an outer bank are relatively rare.

Source: Historic England


Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SS32NW4, (1990)
National Archaeological Record, SS32NW2,

Source: Historic England

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