Ancient Monuments

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Group of round barrows 750m north west of Ivy Cottage

A Scheduled Monument in St Cuthbert Out, Somerset

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Latitude: 51.2357 / 51°14'8"N

Longitude: -2.6572 / 2°39'25"W

OS Eastings: 354212.695189

OS Northings: 148701.776462

OS Grid: ST542487

Mapcode National: GBR MN.2DLT

Mapcode Global: VH89R.W6LL

Entry Name: Group of round barrows 750m north west of Ivy Cottage

Scheduled Date: 19 December 1929

Last Amended: 16 October 2002

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020494

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34870

County: Somerset

Civil Parish: St Cuthbert Out

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset


The monument includes four round barrows located on the summit of a south
facing slope, which rises steeply to the north and west, above Rookham at
the eastern end of the Mendip Hills. The barrows follow an east to west
alignment just below the crest of the hill in a field which was recorded
as Barrow Ground on a 19th century parish map.
Three of the barrows are of the bowl-shaped type and are believed to be of
Late Neolithic to Bronze Age date. In a line from east to west, the first
two barrows are visible at ground level and have mounds of approximately
10m in diameter by 0.15m high, and 23m in diameter by 0.6m high, and in
common with other bowl barrows in the area, their mounds are surrounded by
a ditch from which material was quarried during their construction.
Although these quarry ditches are no longer visible at ground level,
having become infilled over the centuries, they will survive as buried
features about 2m wide. A further bowl barrow, located just to the west is
no longer clearly definable at ground level. It is however visible on
aerial photographs which indicate an overall diameter of approximately 40m
inclusive of its surrounding quarry ditch. The fourth and westernmost
round barrow is visible as an irregular spread of stone up to 0.4m high.
It is 22m in diameter and is surrounded by a level berm of about 24m wide,
which is itself enclosed by a quarry ditch that can be seen as a slight
depression on the west side of the barrow. The whole surrounding ditch is
visible on aerial photographs as a circular soil mark enclosing an area of
up to 60m in diameter. The unusual form of this barrow displays
characteristics that suggest it may be identified as a bell or a disc
barrow. Such barrows are believed to be of Early to Middle Bronze Age
date. An assemblage of worked flint typical of Bronze Age date was
identified from the mound and the area around the barrow.

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 barrows 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 mounds, sometimes ditched, which covered
single or multiple burials. They occur either in isolation or grouped as
cemeteries and often acted as a focus of 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 examples recorded nationally (many more have already
been destroyed), occurring across most of Britain, including the Wessex area
where it is often possible to classify them more closely, for example as bowl
or bell barrows. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major
historic element in the modern landscape and their considerable variation in
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 having been reduced by ploughing, the four round barrows 750m
north west of Ivy Cottage will contain archaeological remains and
environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which
it was constructed. A possible bell or disc barrow within this monument
provides an unusual association, being a comparatively rare example of its
class, which is likely to contain a burial of high status.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Grinsell, L, 'Proceedings of Somerset Archaeology and Natural History Society' in Somerset Barrows, , Vol. 115 pt 2, (1971), 115
Grinsell, L, 'Proceedings of Somerset Archaeology and Natural History Society' in Somerset Barrows, , Vol. 115 pt 2, (1971), 115
Grinsell, L, 'Proceedings of Somerset Archaeology and Natural History Society' in Somerset Barrows, , Vol. 115 pt 2, (1971), 115
Grinsell, L, 'Proceedings of Somerset Archaeology and Natural History Society' in Somerset Barrows, , Vol. 115 pt 2, (1971), 115
Duck, J, (2001)

Source: Historic England

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