Ancient Monuments

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Round barrow cemetery and beacon at Heathfield, 650m west of Moorlands

A Scheduled Monument in Lamerton, Devon

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Latitude: 50.5951 / 50°35'42"N

Longitude: -4.1736 / 4°10'25"W

OS Eastings: 246252.4272

OS Northings: 79516.4113

OS Grid: SX462795

Mapcode National: GBR NV.CV31

Mapcode Global: FRA 274H.HTQ

Entry Name: Round barrow cemetery and beacon at Heathfield, 650m west of Moorlands

Scheduled Date: 11 February 2002

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020075

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34284

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Lamerton

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


This monument includes the core of a round barrow cemetery containing five
bowl barrows and three bell barrows, as well as a beacon. The monument is
situated on a prominent upland ridge which overlooks the valleys of
tributaries to the River Lyd, River Burn and River Lumburn. The cemetery
straddles the parish boundaries between Milton Abbot, Lamerton and Brentor.
Two additional barrows, representing outlying components of the cemetery are
situated to west and are the subject of separate schedulings.
The five bowl barrows each include circular mounds which vary in diameter from
20.6m up to 24m and in height from 0.6m up to 1.2m. They are all surrounded by
quarry ditches from which material to construct the mounds was derived; these
measure up to 3.2m wide, some are up to 0.1m deep and visible, but the
majority are preserved as buried features. Most of the bowl barrows have a
fairly steep profile and rather uneven appearance; some are more stoney in
nature than others. Three of the bowl barrows underlie field boundaries, and
one is the focal point of three parishes and has been partially disturbed by
the construction of several boundaries. One barrow which partially underlies a
field boundary, and which is also a parish boundary, was reused as a beacon
and has also been partially excavated.
The bell barrows each have a central mound surrounded by a flat raised
platform called the berm which is surrounded by an outer ditch. The
diameters of the mounds vary from 23.3m up to 34.4m in diameter. The berms
range in width from 1.5m up to 3.2m and in height from 0.5m up to 0.8m. The
overall heights of the mounds vary from 0.8m up to 1.4m. One bell barrow is
cut by a ditched field boundary and has been partially excavated on the south
western quadrant, whilst another has a small, roughly circular mound on its
summit which measures 2.4m in diameter and up to 0.3m high which once held a
triangulation pillar.
The archaeologically sensitive areas between these barrows is included in the
scheduling as this is likely to contain contemporary evidence for burial and
The field boundaries which cross some of the barrows are included within the
monument, especially since some are also parish boundaries providing evidence
for the use of the earlier monuments for land division. However, their
adjacent stock proof fences are excluded from the scheduling, although the
ground beneath these features 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.

The round barrow cemetery at Heathfield survives well despite some partial
excavation, some alterations through the construction of boundary hedges, the
use of the land for limited cultivation at some time in the past and the
re-use of one of the bowl barrows as a beacon mound. It contains a wide
variety of different sized barrows and also differing barrow types. It will
also contain both archaeological and environmental information relating to the
monument and its surrounding landscape.

Of the types represented, bowl barrows are the most numerous form of round
barrow, with over 10,000 examples recorded nationally. They were constructed
as earthen or rubble mounds each covering single or multiple burials.

Bell barrows are the most visually impressive form of round barrow and their
burials are frequently accompanied by weapons, personal ornaments and pottery.
It is believed that these are the burial places of aristocratic individuals,
usually men. Bell barrows are rare nationally, with some 250 recorded

Source: Historic England


Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX47NE11, (1986)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX47NE12, (1986)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX47NE13, (1986)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX47NE14, (1986)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX47NE22, (1986)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX47NE28, (1987)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX47NE4, (1986)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX47NE7, (1990)

Source: Historic England

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