Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Bowl barrow on Lype Hill, 550m north west of Lype Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Cutcombe, Somerset

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Latitude: 51.1236 / 51°7'25"N

Longitude: -3.5012 / 3°30'4"W

OS Eastings: 295035.496

OS Northings: 137111.83467

OS Grid: SS950371

Mapcode National: GBR LH.9GTS

Mapcode Global: VH5KJ.80DY

Entry Name: Bowl barrow on Lype Hill, 550m north west of Lype Farm

Scheduled Date: 11 August 2003

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1021062

English Heritage Legacy ID: 35701

County: Somerset

Civil Parish: Cutcombe

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset


The monument includes a bowl barrow of prehistoric date located on the
summit of Lype Hill which forms western edge of the Brendon Hills, a broad
ridge which dominates the eastern region of Exmoor. The barrow is formed
by an earth covered mound with a diameter of 21m and a maximum height of
2m. A ring of white quartz blocks are set around the edge of the mound's
summit providing what has been described as a `necklace'. An enclosing
ditch surrounds the mound from which material was quarried for its
construction, this survives as a depression approximately 0.4m deep and 2m
wide. A large quartz block 1.3m in height is set adjacent to the north
side of the barrow. The mound has an Ordnance Survey trigonometry pillar
set into its surface.

All fencing, fence posts and OS trigonometry pillar are excluded from the
scheduling, although the ground beneath these features 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

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 part of the mound surface having been disturbed by animal
activity, the bowl barrow on Lype Hill, 550m north west of Lype Farm
survives well and will contain archaeological deposits and environmental
evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was
constructed. The monument would have formed a highly visual element in the
prehistoric period with the mound dramatically emphasised by its ring of
quartz blocks.

Additionally, it is one of a number of 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
Riley, H, Wilson-North, R, The Field Archaeology of Exmoor, (2001), 37
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of Somerset Archaelogical & Natural History Society' in Somerset Barrows, , Vol. 113, (1969), 30
SS 93 NE 1, National Monuments Record,

Source: Historic England

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