Ancient Monuments

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Bowl barrow 470m south east of Smythen Cross, forming part of a round barrow cemetery on Berry Down

A Scheduled Monument in Berrynarbor, Devon

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Latitude: 51.1744 / 51°10'27"N

Longitude: -4.0516 / 4°3'5"W

OS Eastings: 256680.704189

OS Northings: 143689.684985

OS Grid: SS566436

Mapcode National: GBR KR.67FN

Mapcode Global: VH4MC.QRG1

Entry Name: Bowl barrow 470m south east of Smythen Cross, forming part of a round barrow cemetery on Berry Down

Scheduled Date: 26 November 1954

Last Amended: 10 October 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019260

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34249

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Berrynarbor

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Berrynarbor St Peter

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


This monument includes a bowl barrow situated on a high upland ridge, known as
Berry Down, overlooking the Sterridge valley. It is part of a round barrow
cemetery, of which seven barrows survive in all. The other barrows which form
the cemetery are the subject of separate schedulings.
The barrow survives as a circular mound 30.6m in diameter and 1.2m high. The
surrounding quarry ditch from which material to construct the mound was
derived survives as a buried feature approximately 3m wide.
This barrow may have been partially excavated by the Department of the

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 reduction in its height through cultivation and the possibility of
partial excavation, the bowl barrow 470m south east of Smythen Cross, forming
part of a round barrow cemetery on Berry Down survives well and contains
archaeological and environmental information relating to the monument and its
surrounding landscape.

Source: Historic England


Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SS54SE5, (1981)

Source: Historic England

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