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HER Number:MDV7487
Name:Barrow on Hamel Down

Summary

Barrow situated in a prominent position on the broad ridge of Hamel Down. When surveyed in 1990 the barrow was recorded as a low, heather-covered mound with a smooth appearance with hardly any stone visible. Amorphous shape with maximum dimensions of 29 metres north-west to south-east and 21.5 metres north-east to south-west. It stands between 0.6 metres and 1.0 metre high. Antiquarian excavation in 1871.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 705 795
Map Sheet:SX77NW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishManaton
Civil ParishWidecombe in the Moor
DistrictTeignbridge
Ecclesiastical ParishMANATON

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX 77 NW 22
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX77NW/59
  • Old SAM County Ref: 369
  • Pastscape: 455080

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • BARROW (Early Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 4000 BC to 701 BC (Between))
  • BOUNDARY STONE (XIX - 1850 AD to 1860 AD (Between))

Full description

Spence Bate, C., 1873, Researches into Some Ancient Tumuli on Dartmoor, 272 (Article in Serial). SDV309431.

(1872) Forms a perfect circle; but the substance of the barrow has so gradually thinned away at the margin of the mound that it is not in all places quite easy to define the exact limit.
When excavated a mass of irregular stones were found which formed a wall. All the earth on the outer side of this low circular enclosure has resulted from depression of the soft material with which this mound was built. On the south side were found several stones lying flat on the surface of the ground beneath the mound; these were placed in a curved line like a pavement, as a causeway leading to the barrow and ended at the stone embankment that encircled the mound. Several stones of large proportion was found, one was very suggestive of having been the cover stone of an internment. On being raised it was found to rest on the subsoil. Burnt bone was found amongst which a bit was determined to be the palatal fang of a human upper molar tooth. Also charcoal was found and a thin square shaped implement of flint. It has one side (on which is shown the bulb of percussion) flat over the entire surface being the result of a fracture; the other side has a ridge.


Worth, R. H., 1902, 21st Report of the Barrow Committee, 107,108,120,131,plate 1 (Article in Serial). SDV20971.

(1901) Single barrow - a heather covered cairn, misshapen and mutilated at the top. The margin of the barrow is built in stone also. A boundary stone near the centre is dated 1854, and inscribed "single barrow".


Victoria County History, 1906, The Victoria History of the County of Devon, 361, Early Man (Article in Serial). SDV238214.


Fox, A., 1948-1952, The Broad Down (Farway) Necropolis and the Wessex Culture in Devon, PDAS 11 (1950)? (Article in Serial). SDV123888.

Lady Fox viewed this barrow as an earth and stone composite with outer stone ring and central cairn, a distinct structural type occurring only on Dartmoor and Exmoor, with parallels at the nearby Broad Barrow and Two Barrows.


Royal Air Force, 1950, RAF RP541/540, 3143 (Aerial Photograph). SDV290988.


Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1960, SX77NW22, 10/5/1960 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV309437.

A heather covered cairn, misshapen and with a mutilation in the top. It is 1.0 metre high. A boundary stone near the centre is dated 1854 and inscribed 'single burrow'.


Fox, A., 1973, South West England 3,500BC - AD600 (Revised Edition), 87 (Monograph). SDV16216.


Grinsell, L. V., 1978, Dartmoor Barrows, 155 (Article in Serial). SDV273224.

(21/7/1972) Round barrow, crowned by boundary stone dated 1854, and inscribed single burrow. Excavated 1873. Diameter 23 metres, height 1.0 metres.


Beeson, M. M. R. + Masterman, M. C. H., 1979, An Archaeological Survey of Enclosed Land in Widecombe-In-The-Moor Parish, Volume V, 1064. (Report - Survey). SDV337078.


Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, 1985, Aerial Photograph Project (Interpretation). SDV319854.

RCHM APP 1985, Untitled Source (Migrated Record)
Single barrow with boundary stone. Visible on aerial photographs and recorded on map overlay.


Brewer, D., 1986, A field guide to the boundary markers on and around Dartmoor (Monograph). SDV309252.

The boundary stone is purpose made with a rounded head and is inscribed "Single Burrow" [east face] and "DS 1854" [west face]. It is one of a series marking the bounds of Natsworthy Manor, which at the time belonged to Edward Augustus Seymour, 11th Duke of Somerset.


Pattison, P., 1990, Field investigation of Barrow on Hamel Down, Surveyed at 1:500 (Report - Survey). SDV307152.

SX 7056 7953: Single Barrow. Situated in a prominent position on the broad ridge of Hamel Down, on the parish boundary between Manaton and Widecombe, just west of the north-south track.
Today the barrow is a low, heather-covered mound with a smooth appearance: hardly any stone is visible. It has an amorphous shape with maximum dimensions of 29 metres north-west to south-east and 21.5 metres north-east to south-west, [it is hard to imagine how it could have ever been a "perfect circle" (Spence Bate, 1873). It stands between 0.6 metres and 1.0 metre high.
The excavation of the barrow in 1873 has left its mark: the western half appears undisturbed: the edges are long, gradual and gently curving and the flat top is probably original. The north side is scalloped by undated digging [which is certainly not recorded by Spence-Bate]. His effort effectively removed the south-eastern quadrant and this is clearly visible: the boundary stone, presumably re-set by him, stands in a central irregular depression 0.6 metres deep at the apex of Bate's
triangular trench. B, a narrow gulley 1.5 to 2.5 metres wide and 0.5 metres deep which runs out from the centre to the south-east is the western limit of Bate's trench: it presents the illusion of a narrow excavation. To the east the scarping and mounding centred on A is all backfill [rabbits have made great play] but it is evident that spoil was temporarily dumped over the track east of the barrow during the dig: there is deep soil on the track here which presents a 0.4 metre rise on the approach from the south, whereas to north and south normal soil cover on the track is totally eroded.
Spence-Bate's excavation revealed a barrow built largely of earth within which is a low bank/wall of stones or cairn-ring which he interpreted as the original circumference. However, he does not record its position or dimensions but from his sketch it appears to span not quite two-thirds of his 66 foot [10.12 metre] diameter for the whole barrow. The earth beyond the ring he saw as soil which had eroded out
from the centre. There was also a small central cairn of stones 3 foot [0.91 metres] high with no burial beneath it. The cremation was located 6 foot [1.83 metres] to the south-east of the centre: part of a human upper molar and a flint flake were identified.


Ordnance Survey, 2015, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV357601.

Barrow is depicted on the modern mapping. Map object based on this source.

Sources / Further Reading

  • Article in Serial: Fox, A.. 1948-1952. The Broad Down (Farway) Necropolis and the Wessex Culture in Devon. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 4. Unknown. PDAS 11 (1950)?.
  • Monograph: Fox, A.. 1973. South West England 3,500BC - AD600 (Revised Edition). South West England. Hardback Volume. 87.
  • Article in Serial: Worth, R. H.. 1902. 21st Report of the Barrow Committee. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 34. A5 Paperback + Digital. 107,108,120,131,plate 1.
  • Article in Serial: Victoria County History. 1906. The Victoria History of the County of Devon. Victoria History of the County of Devon. 1. Unknown. 361, Early Man.
  • Article in Serial: Grinsell, L. V.. 1978. Dartmoor Barrows. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 36. A5 Paperback. 155.
  • Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1950. RAF RP541/540. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Unknown. 3143.
  • Report - Survey: Pattison, P.. 1990. Field investigation of Barrow on Hamel Down. Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England Archaeological Survey. Unknown. Surveyed at 1:500.
  • Monograph: Brewer, D.. 1986. A field guide to the boundary markers on and around Dartmoor. A field guide to the boundary markers on and around Dartmoor. Unknown.
  • Article in Serial: Spence Bate, C.. 1873. Researches into Some Ancient Tumuli on Dartmoor. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 6. Unknown. 272.
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1960. SX77NW22. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index. 10/5/1960.
  • Interpretation: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. 1985. Aerial Photograph Project. Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England Aerial Photograph P. Cartographic.
  • Report - Survey: Beeson, M. M. R. + Masterman, M. C. H.. 1979. An Archaeological Survey of Enclosed Land in Widecombe-In-The-Moor Parish. Devon Committee for Rescue Archaeology Report. Vols I - V. A4 Comb Bound. Volume V, 1064..
  • Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2015. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV64695Related to: Anti-glider posts on Hamel Down (Monument)
MDV20919Related to: Flint found on Hamel Down (Find Spot)

Associated Finds

  • FDV6653 - HUMAN REMAINS (Bronze Age - 2200 BC? to 701 BC)

Associated Events: none recorded


Date Last Edited:Nov 20 2017 12:45PM