Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Bowl barrow 260m north east of Ralegh's Cross Hotel

A Scheduled Monument in Clatworthy, Somerset

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Latitude: 51.1022 / 51°6'7"N

Longitude: -3.3705 / 3°22'13"W

OS Eastings: 304141.70219

OS Northings: 134543.652

OS Grid: ST041345

Mapcode National: GBR LN.BZXS

Mapcode Global: VH6H1.JKJF

Entry Name: Bowl barrow 260m north east of Ralegh's Cross Hotel

Scheduled Date: 6 December 2002

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020721

English Heritage Legacy ID: 35316

County: Somerset

Civil Parish: Clatworthy

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset


The monument includes a prehistoric bowl barrow located near Ralegh's
Cross on the summit of a broad ridge which extends along the Brendon Hills
area of Exmoor.
The near-circular mound is a maximum of 41m in diameter and up to 1.5m
high, and is surrounded by a ditch from which material was quarried for
its construction. Although the quarry ditch has become largely infilled
over the millennia and is no longer clearly visible, it will survive as a
buried feature approximately 3m to 4m wide.

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

Exmoor is the most easterly of the three main upland areas in the south
western peninsula of England. In contrast to the others, Dartmoor and
Bodmin Moor, there has been no history of antiquarian research and little
excavation of its monuments. However, detailed survey work by the Royal
Commission on the Historical Monuments of England has confirmed a
comparable richness of archaeological remains, with evidence of human
exploitation and occupation from the Mesolithic period to the present day.
Many of the field monuments surviving on Exmoor date from the later
prehistoric period. Examples include stone settings, stone alignments,
standing stones, and burial mounds (`barrows'). Bowl barrows, the most
numerous form of round barrow, are funerary monuments dating to the Late
Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age, with most examples belonging to
the period 2400-1500BC. 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. Over 370 bowl barrows, varying in diameter
from 2m to 35m, have been recorded on Exmoor. Many of these are found on
or close to the summits of the three east-west ridges which cross the moor
- the southern escarpment, the central ridge, and the northern ridge -
whilst individual barrows and groups may also be found on lower lying
ground and hillslopes. Those which occupy prominent locations form 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. They are particularly representative of their period and a
substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of

Despite having been ploughed in the past, the bowl barrow 260m north east
of Ralegh's Cross Hotel survives well and will contain archaeological
deposits and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the
landscape in which it was constructed. Additionally, it is one of a number
of round barrows which occupy prominent positions on or near a
well-defined course along the Brendon Hills which is sometimes referred to
as the Brendon Hills Ridgeway.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of Somerset Archaelogical & Natural History Society' in Somerset Barrows, , Vol. 113 pt1, (1969), 113

Source: Historic England

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