Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Three bowl barrows 140m west of Borough Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Holbeton, Devon

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Latitude: 50.328 / 50°19'40"N

Longitude: -3.9647 / 3°57'52"W

OS Eastings: 260250.928021

OS Northings: 49406.723703

OS Grid: SX602494

Mapcode National: GBR Q5.PTLC

Mapcode Global: FRA 28L5.F6V

Entry Name: Three bowl barrows 140m west of Borough Farm

Scheduled Date: 9 February 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019317

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33754

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Holbeton

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


This monument includes three Late Neolithic to Bronze Age bowl barrows in a
broadly south west to north east alignment, sited on a gentle south facing
slope near the head of a valley. The southern mound is 40m in diameter by up
to 1m high. The central mound is 42m in diameter by up to 1m high, while the
northern one is 40m in diameter by up to 0.8m high. The ditches from which
material was quarried during the mounds' construction survive as buried
features measuring 4m wide.
A further barrow 500m to the SSE is the subect of a separate scheduling.

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 having been reduced by ploughing in the past, the three bowl barrows
140m west of Borough Farm are well-preserved and will retain information about
their construction and use. Their surrounding ditches will preserve stratified
material and it is likely that their primary burials are undisturbed. Their
unusual siting in a valley, and the presence of another barrow, 500m to the
SSE, gives the group particular interest.

Source: Historic England


fieldwork by OS archaeologist, (1987)
MPP fieldwork by R Waterhouse, (1999)

Source: Historic England

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