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Barrow and cairn cemetery on Black Hill, 490m north west of Crowcombe Park Gate

A Scheduled Monument in Crowcombe, Somerset

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.1368 / 51°8'12"N

Longitude: -3.2213 / 3°13'16"W

OS Eastings: 314645.263648

OS Northings: 138211.722605

OS Grid: ST146382

Mapcode National: GBR LW.8MQC

Mapcode Global: VH6GY.3PVD

Entry Name: Barrow and cairn cemetery on Black Hill, 490m north west of Crowcombe Park Gate

Scheduled Date: 23 June 1975

Last Amended: 17 May 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019381

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32185

County: Somerset

Civil Parish: Crowcombe

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset

Details

The monument, which lies in three separate areas of protection, includes a
Bronze Age cemetery containing four bowl barrows and a cairn. The cemetery is
aligned east to west along a broad plateau on Black Hill in the western region
of the Quantock Hills. Two of the bowl barrows form outliers to the core of
the cemetery; one located 120m to the east and the other 100m to the west.
Three of the bowl barrow mounds range in size from 8m to 13.5m in diameter and
from 0.5m to about 1.5m high. The mound of the fourth bowl barrow, located 40m
west of the cairn, has been hollowed resulting in an uneven central area
ringed by a bank up to 1m high. A small tump is located within the bank.
Several small heaps are located to the south and east of this bowl barrow
which may be spoil from unrecorded excavations. The cairn mound has been
disturbed and now has the appearance of an irregular circular bank 0.5m to
0.75m high, with an overall diameter of 13m.
The bowl barrows each have a central depression which may have been caused by
antiquarian excavations.

MAP EXTRACT
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

The area of the Quantock Hills, although small in extent, is one of the few
remaining expanses of open moorland in southern Britain. Its archaeological
importance lies in the existence of a landscape displaying examples of
monuments tracing the exploitation of the hills from the Bronze Age onwards.
Well-preserved monuments from the Bronze Age and Iron Age, including round
barrows, cairns, settlements, hillforts and a trackway, as well as later
industrial remains, give insights into changes in the pattern of land use on
the hills through time. These earthwork features are one of the key components
of the Quantocks' broader landscape character.
Round barrows and cairns on the Quantock Hills sometimes form mixed cemeteries
which are concentrations of two or more cairns in close proximity to one or
more round barrows. The cairns may be clearance cairns or funerary cairns.
Clearance cairns, built with stone from the surrounding land surface to
improve its use for agriculture, can sometimes define field plots. Funerary
round cairns, covering single or multiple burials, are difficult to
differentiate from clearance cairns without excavation, both being circular
mounds. Clearance cairns were constructed from the Neolithic period (from
c.3400 BC), although the majority of examples appear to be the result of field
clearance which began during the earlier Bronze Age and continued into the
later Bronze Age (2000-700 BC). Funerary cairns date to the Bronze Age.
Round barrows are constructed as earthen or rubble mounds, sometimes ditched,
covering single or multiple burials. They also date to the Bronze Age, and
often acted as a focus for burials in later periods. Most cemeteries developed
over a considerable period of time, sometimes many centuries. Often occupying
prominent locations, they are a major historic element in the modern
landscape. Their longevity and variation in size, content and associations
provide important information on the variety of beliefs, social organisation,
development of land use and agricultural practices amongst early prehistoric
communities. Only a small number of round cairn cemeteries have been recorded
on the Quantocks, although the original figure is likely to have been higher.
A substantial proportion of surviving or partly surviving examples are
considered worthy of protection.

The barrow and cairn cemetery on Black Hill, 490m north west of Crowcombe Park
Gate, survives well as a group despite some disturbance caused by unrecorded
excavations, and will contain archaeological deposits and environmental
evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was
constructed.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of Somerset Archaelogical & Natural History Society' in Somerset Barrows, , Vol. 113 pt1, (1969), 34
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of Somerset Archaelogical & Natural History Society' in Somerset Barrows, , Vol. 113 pt1, (1969), 33
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of Somerset Archaelogical & Natural History Society' in Somerset Barrows, , Vol. 113 pt1, (1969), 33
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of Somerset Archaelogical & Natural History Society' in Somerset Barrows, , Vol. 113 pt1, (1969), 33
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of Somerset Archaelogical & Natural History Society' in Somerset Barrows, , Vol. 113 pt1, (1969), 34

Source: Historic England

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