Ancient Monuments

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Three bowl barrows on Lympstone Common, 500m west of Fryingpans

A Scheduled Monument in Exmouth, Devon

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Latitude: 50.6573 / 50°39'26"N

Longitude: -3.3713 / 3°22'16"W

OS Eastings: 303164.827996

OS Northings: 85078.140536

OS Grid: SY031850

Mapcode National: GBR P5.H73Z

Mapcode Global: FRA 37TB.QD4

Entry Name: Three bowl barrows on Lympstone Common, 500m west of Fryingpans

Scheduled Date: 28 August 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020014

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33032

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Exmouth

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Lympstone Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


The monument includes three bowl barrows aligned almost exactly east-west and
situated between 8m and 9m apart on Lympstone Common. The barrows lie on flat
ground close to the 150m contour above the south facing slope of the common,
which commands views down to the coast at Budleigh Salterton. A number of
other barrows in the vicinity are the subject of separate schedulings.
All three barrows have clear bowl-shaped profiles. The central barrow mound is
1.5m in height whilst the flanking barrow mounds are 2m in height. They vary
in diameter between 7.7m and 8m. All have an associated and encircling ditch
from which material would have been quarried for the construction of the
mounds. The encircling quarry ditches vary in width between 1.4m and 2m. These
ditches have become partly infilled over the millennia although they are all
well defined as depressions surrounding their respective mounds and vary in
depth between 0.2m and 0.65m. The easternmost barrow has a trench cut into its
centre from the south, which may be the result of antiquarian activity. The
barrows lie adjacent to the parish boundary between Lympstone and Woodbury,
this boundary being defined at one stage by a low earthen bank. The barrows
may have provided a clearly recognisable and already ancient reference point
in the landscape at the time that the parish boundaries were defined in the
early medieval period.

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

The group of three bowl barrows on Lympstone Common survives well in
association with a number of other recorded barrows in the vicinity. The
barrows will retain archaeological information about the monument and the
landscape in which it was constructed.

Source: Historic England


Hutchinson, P O, Diaries in Devon Record Office, 1872,

Source: Historic England

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