Ancient Monuments

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Round barrow cemetery known as Ritson Barrows, 420m north east of Stanborough Camp

A Scheduled Monument in Halwell and Moreleigh, Devon

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Latitude: 50.3552 / 50°21'18"N

Longitude: -3.7232 / 3°43'23"W

OS Eastings: 277507.999704

OS Northings: 52006.239945

OS Grid: SX775520

Mapcode National: GBR QK.L362

Mapcode Global: FRA 3823.C9C

Entry Name: Round barrow cemetery known as Ritson Barrows, 420m north east of Stanborough Camp

Scheduled Date: 16 January 1953

Last Amended: 9 February 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020036

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33767

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Halwell and Moreleigh

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Halwell St Leonard

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


This monument includes a round barrow cemetery of Late Neolithic to Bronze Age
date. The site is on the northern edge of a level hilltop with wide views to
the north and west.
The cemetery contains at least 11 bowl barrows, clustered tightly together.
Despite ploughing, many of them preserve their encircling ditches. Central
depressions in two of them provide evidence for undocumented excavations in
the past. The barrows vary between 12m and 30m in diameter, with most
measuring from 20m to 30m in diameter. Most have evidence for an outer ditch,
which varies in width from 4m to 7m, although one example is 10m wide.
The modern road surfaces and fence posts are excluded from the scheduling,
although the ground beneath them is included.

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 by ploughing, the round barrow cemetery known as Ritson
Barrows, 420m north east of Stanborough Camp is still largely visible. The
barrows and their buried ditches contain archaeological and environmental
information relating to their construction and use and the landscape in which
they functioned. Their relationship with Stanborough Camp and a Norman motte
and ringwork castle to the south, which are the subjects of separate
schedulings, is also important.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society' in The Barrows of South and East Devon, , Vol. 41, (1983), 37
MPP fieldwork by R Waterhouse, (1999)

Source: Historic England

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