Ancient Monuments

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Wiveliscombe Barrow

A Scheduled Monument in Brompton Regis, Somerset

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Latitude: 51.1044 / 51°6'15"N

Longitude: -3.4218 / 3°25'18"W

OS Eastings: 300552.63379

OS Northings: 134857.083367

OS Grid: ST005348

Mapcode National: GBR LL.BQY7

Mapcode Global: VH6H0.MHWR

Entry Name: Wiveliscombe Barrow

Scheduled Date: 27 July 1950

Last Amended: 3 September 2002

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020773

English Heritage Legacy ID: 35321

County: Somerset

Civil Parish: Brompton Regis

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset


The monument includes Wiveliscombe Barrow, a bowl barrow located 540m north of
Burrow Farm on the summit of a broad ridge which extends along the Brendon
Hills area of Exmoor.
The barrow is formed by a circular mound the dimensions of which have
previously been recorded as 20.5m in diameter and 2.3m high. In keeping with
other bowl barrows in the region, the mound is surrounded by a ditch from
which material was quarried for the construction of the mound and, although it
is no longer visible at ground level, this will survive as a buried feature
approximately 2m wide.
The bowl barrow was previously known as Eastern Barrow and was marked as such
on the 1833 tithe map.

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 some surface disturbance to the mound, Wiveliscombe Barrow survives
comparatively 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
known 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), 28

Source: Historic England

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