Ancient Monuments

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Two long mortuary enclosures 570m east and 590m ENE of Sandford Barton

A Scheduled Monument in North Tawton, Devon

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Latitude: 50.7976 / 50°47'51"N

Longitude: -3.8524 / 3°51'8"W

OS Eastings: 269547.2504

OS Northings: 101411.9474

OS Grid: SS695014

Mapcode National: GBR L0.Z3VR

Mapcode Global: FRA 26TZ.NYN

Entry Name: Two long mortuary enclosures 570m east and 590m ENE of Sandford Barton

Scheduled Date: 11 December 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020072

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34281

County: Devon

Civil Parish: North Tawton

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Bow (or Nymet Tracey) with Broad Nymet

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


This monument, which includes the cropmarks of two long mortuary enclosures,
in two areas of protection, is located on a gently sloping ridge which forms
the watershed to two tributaries of the River Yeo. To the south and east are
further important ritual monuments in the form of bowl barrows and a henge;
these are the subject of separate schedulings.
The two long mortuary enclosures survive as cigar shaped enclosures surrounded
by ditches. These enclosures measure up to approximately 70m long and 25m
wide. They are both clearly visible from the air as cropmarks, and they are
preserved as entirely buried features.

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

Long mortuary enclosures are oblong-shaped enclosures up to 150m in length,
surrounded by narrow, fairly straight ditches with slightly rounded corners,
containing an open space edged by a perimeter bank set within the ditch.
Characteristically there are two or more major causeways across the ditch
which served as entrances. Most long mortuary enclosures are orientated
within 45 degrees of an east-west alignment. Long mortuary enclosures are
generally associated with human burials dated to the Early and Middle
Neolithic periods (c.3200-2500 BC). There are approximately 35 examples
recorded in England. The greatest concentration lies in Essex and Suffolk,
but there are also examples along the Thames and in Warwickshire along the
Avon; two isolated examples have been recorded in Northumberland. Long
mortuary enclosures are very rare nationally and all surviving examples are
considered worthy of protection.

Despite reduction in the heights of their earthworks through cultivation, the
long mortuary enclosures 570m east and 590m ENE of Sandford Barton will
contain both archaeological and environmental information relating to the
monument and its surrounding landscape.

Source: Historic England


Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SS60SE52, (1992)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SS60SE80, (1992)

Source: Historic England

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