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Four bowl barrows at Bickleigh Brake 540m south west of Bickleigh, forming part of a linear round barrow cemetery

A Scheduled Monument in Halwell and Moreleigh, Devon

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Latitude: 50.3694 / 50°22'9"N

Longitude: -3.7113 / 3°42'40"W

OS Eastings: 278392.512538

OS Northings: 53567.143058

OS Grid: SX783535

Mapcode National: GBR QL.R67R

Mapcode Global: FRA 3832.3YK

Entry Name: Four bowl barrows at Bickleigh Brake 540m south west of Bickleigh, forming part of a linear round barrow cemetery

Scheduled Date: 30 August 1922

Last Amended: 10 October 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019238

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33747

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Halwell and Moreleigh

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Halwell St Leonard

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


The monument, which falls into three areas of protection, includes four bowl
barrows, forming part of a linear round barrow cemetery which contains six
barrows in all. The other two barrows in the cemetery are the subject of a
separate scheduling (SM33745).
The northern pair of barrows in this monument are on a north east to south
west alignment, whilst the southern pair are on a NNW to SSE line.
The southernmost barrow is about 0.5m high and varies in diameter between
20.7m and 23m. It is composed of orange sandy clay, with many pieces of slate
and quartz on its surface. The outer ditch is not visible but will survive as
a buried feature about 2.5m wide. The second barrow lies 80m NNW of the first
and is about 24m in diameter and up to 3.5m high. A conical depression at the
centre, about 1.5m deep, represents the site of an undocumented antiquarian
excavation. Beyond the earthwork mound are traces of a 6m wide outer ditch
from which material was quarried during the construction of the mound. This
varies between about 0.1m deep on the south side and about 0.3m deep on the
north west.
The third barrow in the group lies 70m to the north of the second. It measures
42m in diameter and stands about 0.3m high with an outer ditch between 7.5m
and 11.5m wide and between 0.1m and 0.2m deep.
The northernmost barrow is no longer visible, the mound having been largely
removed. It is known that it was 40m in diameter and that its quarry ditch,
of unknown dimensions, remains intact.

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.

Despite some disturbance to some of its component barrows, the linear round
barrow cemetery at Bickleigh Brake is an important group in an area where
single barrows are more common. The large size of the northern two barrows
makes the group unusual. The best surviving barrow is visible from the road at
Stanborough, 2km to the south west and is an important focal point in the
local landscape.

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), 5-46
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society' in The Barrows of South and East Devon, , Vol. 41, (1983), 5-46
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society' in The Barrows of South and East Devon, , Vol. 41, (1983), 5-46

Source: Historic England

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