Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Green Barrow on Hawkridge Common

A Scheduled Monument in Withypool and Hawkridge, Somerset

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Latitude: 51.0982 / 51°5'53"N

Longitude: -3.6895 / 3°41'22"W

OS Eastings: 281791.448

OS Northings: 134563.530848

OS Grid: SS817345

Mapcode National: GBR L7.C33V

Mapcode Global: FRA 3656.SJR

Entry Name: Green Barrow on Hawkridge Common

Scheduled Date: 24 February 2004

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1021263

English Heritage Legacy ID: 35972

County: Somerset

Civil Parish: Withypool and Hawkridge

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset


The monument includes Green Barrow, a bowl barrow of prehistoric date
located west of Knighton Combe on Hawkridge Common. The barrow lies in
isolation on a high, broad plateau of open moorland which slopes gradually
south towards Halscombe Allotment, overlooking Withypool Hill to the east.
It is formed by a well-defined level-topped mound 13.3m in diameter and
1.4m high. A pit, 2.7m by 2.2m and 0.5m deep has been dug into its
surface, probably in antiquity. In common with other bowl barrows recorded
in the region, the mound would have been surrounded by a ditch from which
material was quarried for the mound's construction. This is no longer
visible at ground level but will survive as a buried feature approximately
1.5m 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 disturbance in antiquity to the bowl barrow's mound, Green Barrow
on Hawkridge Common survives comparatively well and will contain
environmental evidence and archaeological deposits relating both to the
monument and the wider landscape in which it was constructed. The barrow
forms a visible element in an area of Exmoor which is rich in prehistoric

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of Somerset Archaelogical & Natural History Society' in Somerset Barrows, , Vol. 113, (1969), 42
SS 83 SW 3, National Monuments Record,

Source: Historic England

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