Ancient Monuments

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Four bowl barrows on Bursdon Moor, 270m north west of Summerville Cross

A Scheduled Monument in Hartland, Devon

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Latitude: 50.9535 / 50°57'12"N

Longitude: -4.4674 / 4°28'2"W

OS Eastings: 226790.4944

OS Northings: 120013.9412

OS Grid: SS267200

Mapcode National: GBR K5.NB2D

Mapcode Global: FRA 16JL.9CX

Entry Name: Four bowl barrows on Bursdon Moor, 270m north west of Summerville Cross

Scheduled Date: 13 September 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019258

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34247

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Hartland

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Welcombe St Nectan

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


This monument, which falls into four separate areas of protection, includes
four bowl barrows situated on a prominent upland ridge known as Bursdon Moor,
with commanding views to the coast and Lundy Island. They form part of a
dispersed group of barrows.
The westernmost barrow survives as a circular flat-topped mound 26m in
diameter and 0.9m high. The surrounding quarry ditch from which material to
construct the mound was derived is preserved as a buried feature approximately
3m wide. The mound has been cut by a central depression 3.2m long, 1.1m wide
and 0.2m deep.
The northernmost barrow survives as a circular mound 22.8m in diameter and
0.7m high, of irregular profile and with an elongated depression on the
western side measuring 5.2m long, 4m wide and up to 0.3m deep. The surrounding
quarry ditch is visible on the north west side, and partially to the north,
where it measures 3.6m wide and 0.1m deep. Elsewhere, it is preserved as a
buried feature.
The easternmost mound lies on a scarp edge and survives as a circular mound
19.8m in diameter and 0.6m high. It is also of irregular profile and the
quarry ditch survives as a buried feature approximately 3m wide.
The southernmost barrow has a circular mound 22.8m in diameter and 0.5m high.
It is surrounded by a quarry ditch visible on the western side where it
measures 3.6m wide and 0.2m deep, although elsewhere it survives as a buried
feature. There is a central depression in the mound measuring 4.2m square
and 0.2m deep. The upcast from this has been placed to the south west in a
roughly oval bank measuring 2.1m long, 1.3m wide and 0.3m high.

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 reduction in height through cultivation, and disturbance through
partial excavation, the four bowl barrows on Bursdon Moor, 270m north west of
Summerville Cross survive comparatively well and will contain archaeological
and environmental information relating to the monument and its surrounding
landscape. Other contemporary monuments are visible from this barrow

Source: Historic England


Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SS21NE513, (1987)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SS22SE30, (1987)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SS22SE31, (1987)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SS22SE32, (1987)

Source: Historic England

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