Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Two bowl barrows at Beacon Hill, 120m south of The Beacon

A Scheduled Monument in Marldon, Devon

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Latitude: 50.447 / 50°26'49"N

Longitude: -3.6102 / 3°36'36"W

OS Eastings: 285770.686144

OS Northings: 62032.758201

OS Grid: SX857620

Mapcode National: GBR QR.C84X

Mapcode Global: FRA 37BW.1CJ

Entry Name: Two bowl barrows at Beacon Hill, 120m south of The Beacon

Scheduled Date: 30 August 1922

Last Amended: 24 April 2002

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020164

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33798

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Marldon

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Marldon St John the Baptist

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


This monument includes two Late Neolithic to Early Bronze Age bowl
barrows, on an east to west alignment, on the crest of a broad ridge, with
extensive views in all directions.
The western of the two barrows survives as an earth mound 40m in diameter
and surviving up to 1m high. There is no visible quarry ditch, though this
will survive as a 5m wide buried feature.
The eastern barrow is 30m in diameter and 1.5m high with a flat top and an
outer ditch 5m wide and 0.2m deep, visible on the east side. A slight
upcast bank is 2m wide and 0.1m high. When partially excavated in 1882, an
Early Bronze Age urn was found, decorated with dotted lines, containing
the burnt bones of a child. The urn was inverted in a rough stone chamber
and covered with stones, then earth. The barrow was reduced in size prior
to 1882 at which time a ring of stones around it was discovered, but
subsequently removed. Flint chips and flakes have been found around the
barrow in the past. Signs of burning found in 1882 relate to the barrow's
post-medieval use as a beacon mound. A fire is recorded as having been lit
here in 1897 to celebrate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee.
The fence posts, modern buildings and a radio mast 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

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

Despite some damage, the two bowl barrows at Beacon Hill, 120m south of
TheBeacon survive well, and their mounds and buried ditches will preserve
stratified remains relating to the monument's construction and use. The
western barrow is likely to contain an undisturbed central burial.

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), 39
MPP fieldwork by R Waterhouse, Waterhouse, R, (2000)
SMR, SMR, (1986)

Source: Historic England

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