Ancient Monuments

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Round barrow cemetery 920m south west of Higher Welsford

A Scheduled Monument in Hartland, Devon

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Latitude: 50.9619 / 50°57'42"N

Longitude: -4.4656 / 4°27'56"W

OS Eastings: 226948.4981

OS Northings: 120951.9465

OS Grid: SS269209

Mapcode National: GBR K5.MQK3

Mapcode Global: FRA 16JK.Q2T

Entry Name: Round barrow cemetery 920m south west of Higher Welsford

Scheduled Date: 26 February 1953

Last Amended: 29 October 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019085

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32238

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Hartland

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Hartland St Nectan

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


This monument, which falls into three areas, includes a round barrow cemetery
situated on a high upland ridge known as Welsford Moor, overlooking the valley
of a tributary to Seckington Water.
The monument survives as a group of five bowl barrows arranged in two pairs
with a single outlier. The barrows survive as circular mounds of varying size
with their approximately 3m wide surrounding outer quarry ditches being
preserved as buried features. Within the southernmost pair, the western mound
measures 24m in diameter and 0.5m high; and the eastern mound measures 29.7m
in diameter and 0.8m high. This barrow's ditch is crossed by a ditched field
boundary with stock proof fences. Within the central pair, the western mound
measures 16.5m in diameter and 0.4m high, and the eastern mound measures 28.3m
in diameter and 1m high. The northernmost mound measures 20m in diameter and
0.4m high. A further bowl barrow lies to the north east, and another bowl
barrow and ring cairn to the east; these are the subject of separate
The field boundary and stock proof fences which cross one of the southern pair
of barrows are excluded from the scheduling, 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

Round barrow cemeteries date to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They comprise
closely-spaced groups of up to 30 round barrows - rubble or earthen mounds
covering single or multiple burials. Most cemeteries developed over a
considerable period of time, often many centuries, and in some cases acted as
a focus for burials as late as the early medieval period. They exhibit
considerable diversity of burial rite, plan and form, frequently including
several different types of round barrow, occasionally associated with earlier
long barrows. Where large scale investigation has been undertaken around them,
contemporary or later "flat" burials between the barrow mounds have often been
revealed. Round barrow cemeteries occur across most of lowland Britain, with a
marked concentration in Wessex. In some cases, they are clustered around other
important contemporary monuments such as henges. Often occupying prominent
locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape, whilst
their diversity and their longevity as a monument type provide important
information on the variety of beliefs and social organisation amongst early
prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period
and a substantial proportion of surviving or partly-surviving examples are
considered worthy of protection.

The round barrow cemetery 920m south west of Higher Welsford survives
comparatively well despite reduction in the heights of the mounds through
cultivation, and will contain archaeological evidence relating to the
construction and use of the monument as well as environmental evidence
concerning the surrounding landscape. The close proximity of other monuments
including bowl barrows and a ring cairn gives an indication of the
significance of this area in the later prehistoric period.

Source: Historic England


Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SS22SE10, (1987)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SS22SE11, (1987)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SS22SE12, (1987)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SS22SE21, (1982)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SS22SE24, (1982)

Source: Historic England

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