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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 34733

Hob Uid: 34733
Location :
Devon
North Devon
Parracombe
Grid Ref : SS6918044890
Summary : A large circular earthwork is visible on Parracombe Common consisting of a bank and internal ditch which has been interpreted as a henge or a disc barrow. The earthwork forms an enclosure measuring 40 metres in diameter with a bank 3.4 metres wide by 0.4 metres high. It has an internal ditch 0.3 metres deep, and has been bisected by a hedge bank. There was no visible evidence of an entrance during field investigation in 1993. The monument is clearly visible on aerial photographs taken in 1952, but by 1972 it has been severely damaged by ploughing and other agricultural activity. Too much of the monument has been either obscured or destroyed to allow the various claims as to the monument's nature to be evaluated purely on the basis of the surviving field evidence. On the aerial photographs from 1952, however, it most closely resembles a disc or saucer barrow.
More information : (SS69184489) Earthwork (NR) (1)

SS69184489. Probably a disc-barrow with only slight traces of central mound. Diameter 47 paces, height 1 ft. Bank and inner ditch each about 13 1/2 ft wide; 1 ft from bottom of external ditch to top of bank. Visited 1961 and 1969. (2)

The small earthwork on Parracombe Common is probably a disc barrow or possibly a 'henge'. (3)

Bisected by a hedge, only the NE half of the earthwork survives and this is in arable land. The measurements are as given by Grinsell, but no central mound is discernible, or any causeway across the surviving part of the ditch. Insufficient evidence available to classify as a henge or a disc barrow.
Surveyed at 1:2500. (4)

SS 692449 Class 1 Henge Monument, Parracombe Common. A circular earthwork with an internal ditch which has been almost obliterated by ploughing. It has an overall diameter of 130 feet and is bisected by a hedge bank to the north-east of which the enclosure bank still survives to a height of 1 foot. It is not possible to establish the number of entrances with any degree of certainty but it seems likely that this is a Class 1 Henge. (5)

The earthwork remains of a circular enclosure, of which only half is now visible, are centred at SS 69174489. It lies at 350m above OD on the crest of east-south-east facing slopes near the head of an un-named valley, giving it extensive views eastwards. In close proximity are a number of other settlement and ceremonial sited (see SS 64 SE 19, 20, 21, 25, 46 and 54, and 1:2500 survey of this area).

The enclosure lies within two pasture fields; it is bisected by a north-west to south-east hedge bank. The field to the south-west has been more intensively managed and few intelligible remains of the enclosure survive (see 1:1000 survey). The field to the north-east, however, contains the well preserved remains of half of the feature, despite the fact that slight narrow ridge and furrow if visible encroaching on it.

In form the enclosure, measuring 40.4m in diameter, consists of a broad external bank some 3.4m wide and 0.4m high with an internal ditch 0.3m deep. The bank and ditch have an overall width of 7.3m. No trace of an entrance is visible.

This earthwork has been variously classified as a disc barrow (2), a henge (3) and a class 1 henge (5), although too much of the monument has been either destroyed or obscured to allow such confident interpretations on the field evidence alone. (7-10)

Included in a gazetteer as a possible one-entrance henge. (11)

The monument is clearly visible on aerial photographs taken in 1952 as a roughly circular enclosure bisected by a field boundary. Measurements are as given above. The interior of the monument appears slightly raised, resembling a disc or saucer barrow. No evidence for an entranceway is apparent, and the interior ditch is only visible in the north-east field. The entranceway may have been obscured by the field boundary, but this seems unlikely. The lack of an entranceway would be more consistent with interpretation as a disc or saucer barrow than a henge.
On photographs taken in 1972, the area has been extensively ploughed and no trace of the monument is visible (12-13).

The bank forming the northern half of the enclosure described above in (1-13) is visible as a low earthwork on EH Rreconnaissance aerial photographs of 2010. (14)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1963
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Source Number : 2
Source : Devon Archaeological Society proceedings
Source details : Grinsell
Page(s) : 127
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 28, 1970
Source Number : 11
Source : Henge monuments and related sites of Great Britain : air photographic evidence and catalogue
Source details : Site 047
Page(s) : 121
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Vol(s) : 175
Source Number : 12
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : RAF 540/931 3046-47 08-NOV-1952
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Source Number : 13
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR OS/72314 288-89 16-AUG-1972
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Source Number : 14
Source : Oblique aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR 2664_032-033 13-APR-2010
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Source Number : 3
Source : The archaeology of Exmoor : Bideford Bay to Bridgwater
Source details :
Page(s) : 55
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Source Number : 4
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 NVQ 15-SEP-72
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Source Number : 5
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : Inf Lady A Fox
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Source Number : 6
Source : Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society
Source details : G J Wainwright
Page(s) : 126
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Vol(s) : 35, 1969
Source Number : 7
Source : Externally held archive reference
Source details : Devon SMR (SS 64 SE 9)
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Source Number : 8
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : Wilson-North WR 3-SEP-93, RCHME Field Investigation
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Source Number : 9
Source : Lynton and Lynmouth, alleged henge at SS 64 SE 22/ink survey
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Source Number : 10
Source : South Common, SS 64 SE 20, 21, 22, 25, 46, 47, 54/ink survey
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Late Neolithic
Display Date : Late Neolithic
Monument End Date : -2200
Monument Start Date : -2900
Monument Type : Henge
Evidence : Conjectural Evidence, Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Bronze Age
Display Date : Bronze Age
Monument End Date : -700
Monument Start Date : -2600
Monument Type : Disc Barrow, Earthwork, Saucer Barrow
Evidence : Earthwork, Conjectural Evidence
Monument Period Name : Uncertain
Display Date :
Monument End Date :
Monument Start Date :
Monument Type : Circular Enclosure
Evidence : Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Devonshire)
External Cross Reference Number : 2071
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : DV 706
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : HER Number (Exmoor National Park)
External Cross Reference Number : MDE1064
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SS 64 SE 22
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 52337
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SS 64 SE 22
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1972-09-15
End Date : 1972-09-15
Associated Activities : Primary, RCHME: WEST EXMOOR PROJECT
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 1993-01-01
End Date : 1996-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ENGLISH HERITAGE: EXMOOR NATIONAL PARK NMP
Activity type : AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH INTERPRETATION
Start Date : 2007-04-01
End Date : 2009-07-01
Associated Activities : Primary, EH AERIAL RECONNAISSANCE (SOUTH): 2010-11
Activity type : AERIAL RECONNAISSANCE
Start Date : 2010-04-01
End Date : 2011-03-31
Associated Activities : Primary, EXMOOR STONE SETTINGS
Activity type : GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY
Start Date : 2014-01-01
End Date : 2014-12-31