Ancient Monuments

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Two cairns on Great Hill, 470m south and 750m south west of Quantock Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Crowcombe, Somerset

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Latitude: 51.1193 / 51°7'9"N

Longitude: -3.2064 / 3°12'23"W

OS Eastings: 315656.9366

OS Northings: 136251.4094

OS Grid: ST156362

Mapcode National: GBR LW.9RJD

Mapcode Global: VH6H4.C4R8

Entry Name: Two cairns on Great Hill, 470m south and 750m south west of Quantock Farm

Scheduled Date: 4 January 1972

Last Amended: 24 November 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020364

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33703

County: Somerset

Civil Parish: Crowcombe

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset


The monument, which lies in two separate areas of protection, includes two
Bronze Age cairns aligned broadly north east to south west on Great Hill in
the western region of the Quantock Hills. The cairn to the north east is
located on the broad summit of the hill and is formed of a central mound
enclosed by a narrow berm with an outer bank. The mound is approximately 0.75m
high and 11m in diameter; the berm and bank together measure 10m wide, giving
the cairn an overall diameter of 21m. The second cairn is located 300m to
the south west of the former and occupies a west facing promontory. It has an
irregular mound 28m in diameter and approximately 2m high.
Both cairn mounds have been disturbed, which may be an indication of partial
excavation in antiquity.

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

The area of the Quantock Hills, although small in extent, is one of the few
remaining expanses of open moorland in southern Britain. Its archaeological
importance lies in the existence of a landscape displaying examples of
monuments tracing the exploitation of the hills from the Bronze Age onwards.
Well-preserved monuments from the Bronze Age and Iron Age, including round
barrows, cairns, settlements, hillforts and a trackway, as well as later
industrial remains, give insights into changes in the pattern of land use on
the hills through time. These earthwork features are one of the key components
of the Quantocks' broader landscape character.
Round cairns are prehistoric funerary monuments dating to the Bronze Age
(c.2000-700 BC). They were constructed as earthen or rubble mounds, the latter
predominating in areas of upland Britain where such raw materials were locally
available in abundance. Round cairns may cover single or multiple burials and
are sometimes surrounded by an outer ditch. Often occupying prominent
locations, they are a major visual element in the modern landscape. Their
considerable variation in form and longevity as a monument type provide
important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation
amongst early prehistoric communities. Twelve round cairns have been recorded
on the Quantocks, although the original figure is likely to have been higher.
They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial
proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.

Despite some disturbance to the two cairns on Great Hill, 470m south and 750m
south west of Quantock Farm, they survive well and will contain archaeological
deposits and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape
in which it was constructed.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of Somerset Archaelogical & Natural History Society' in Somerset Barrows, (1969), 29
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of Somerset Archaelogical & Natural History Society' in Somerset Barrows, (1969), 29

Source: Historic England

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