Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Round barrow 720m NNW of Spire Cross

A Scheduled Monument in Winsford, Somerset

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Latitude: 51.0967 / 51°5'48"N

Longitude: -3.5917 / 3°35'30"W

OS Eastings: 288638.720823

OS Northings: 134245.641502

OS Grid: SS886342

Mapcode National: GBR LC.C3XH

Mapcode Global: FRA 36C7.2K4

Entry Name: Round barrow 720m NNW of Spire Cross

Scheduled Date: 6 October 2003

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1021229

English Heritage Legacy ID: 35714

County: Somerset

Civil Parish: Winsford

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset


The monument includes a round barrow of prehistoric date located on the
north eastern side of Winsford Hill. The barrow is situated on high, level
ground which forms the summit of the hill overlooking the Exe Valley to
the north. The original profile of the barrow's mound has been modified,
probably in antiquity, and it survives as a circular, earth-covered stone
platform 15.5m in diameter and 0.5m high, the interior of which has been
disturbed with the mound material having been placed around its outer edge
forming an irregular rim with a maximum height of 1m. At a later date a
shallow, kidney-shaped pit, 3.5m by 2.7m and 0.4m deep, has been dug into
the centre of the platform; again this is believed to relate to ancient

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 damage, probably in antiquity, the round barrow 700m north west of
Spire Cross survives comparatively well. It will contain environmental
evidence and archaeological deposits relating both to the monument and the
wider landscape in which it was constructed. In addition, it forms one of
a number of prehistoric burial mounds which occupy prominent positions
along the summit of the Winsford Hill massif which forms part of the
southern escarpment of Exmoor.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of Somerset Archaelogical & Natural History Society' in Somerset Barrows, , Vol. 113, (1969), 42
National Monuments Record, 1997, SS 83 SE 8

Source: Historic England

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