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Setta Barrow

Hob Uid: 35008
Location :
Devon, Somerset
Somerset West and Taunton, North Devon
Exmoor, Brayford
Grid Ref : SS7255038060
Summary : A bowl barrow visible as a turf-covered earth and stone mound of 2.8m maximum height. The diameter varies between 31.4m and 17m. Untypically for Exmoor it has a retaining kerb which has been robbed on the eastern side. The barrow has been robbed or "excavated" from the SE, the spoil form which has been dumped on the summit creating a false top. Surrounding the barrow there are traces of a ditch about 2.5m to 3m wide and 0.1m in depth. The barrow is crossed by an enclosure wall which marks the county boundary between Devon and Somerset. The barrow was alleged to have a trig point inserted but there is no immediate evidence for this.
More information : [SS 72563806] Setta Barrow (NR) (1)

Setta barrow, on Bray Common, is one of the bounds between Devon and Somerset. In form, a truncated cone ht. 5' 3", which has been opened at the top. Its retaining circle of stones is very perfect, though partly obscured by the margin of the barrow.(2)Plan (3).

Setta Barrow is a large bowl barrow 2.7 m high. The stone retaining circle survives around half the circumference and consists of slabs up to 0.7 m high. The centre of the barrow has been partly destroyed by a boundary bank.
Published survey (1/2500) revised.(4)

SS 72563805: Exmoor 28/High Bray 6/Setta Barrow, visited by Grinsell in April 1949, has a hollow in the top and is bordered by a fine peristalith and traces of a ditch. It is crossed by a wall. A "Boundary Stone placed in a Barrow called Settaburrow" is mentioned in an 1815 survey. Now surmounted by an OS Trig Point. (5-7)

SS 726379. Setta Barrow, round barrow, Scheduled.(8)

Additional Bibliography. (9)

SS 7255738065. Setta Barrow (10) is prominently situated, about 474m above OD, on the summit of the north-western end of the south-western ridge of Exmoor between Squallacombe on the NE and Bray Common to the W. There are panoramic views; N to Chains Barrow, NE to Aldermans Barrow and Dundery Beacon, SE to Two Barrows and Five Barrows, NW to Shouls Barrow and NNW to the Chapman, Longstone and Wood Barrows. The area is predominantly enclosed rough grassland however the field to the SW is pasture, at present cropped for hay, but this has not encroached on the barrow.

The barrow a turf covered, earth and stone, flat-topped mound of 2.8m maximum height. (See Sketch Plan at 1:200). It varies slightly in overall diameter being 31.4m N/S to 30.0m E/W and is about 17m diameter across its original summit. There is a slight change of profile midway between the outer edge of the summit and the perimeter. The barrow, untypically for Exmoor, has a retaining kerb, the western half of which is almost complete though the eastern side has been largely robbed leaving mainly a fairly well-defined outer scarp. The kerb, uncommonly, takes three different forms. From the N around to the NW it is formed by a curving line of large contiguous earthfast boulders, the largest being some 1.6m long, 0.35m thick and 0.6m high. One boulder has been displaced outwards and 2m south of this the kerb continues as a line of smaller, narrower, adjoining earthfast stones about 0.3m high and set on edge for a length of 8.5m. In the SW the kerb is almost obscured by turf and is formed from small flattish stones laid horizontally to form low walling, about 0.4m high and 10m long.

The barrow has been robbed, or crudely 'excavated', from the SE leaving a central hollow 14m NW/SE by 10m and 1.2m deep. Spoil from the excavation has been dumped around the hollow almost obscuring the flat summit and creating an irregular false top which adds another 0.8m to its 2m height.

Surrounding the barrow there are traces of a ditch about 2.5m to 3m wide and 0.1m maximum depth, evidenced by a shallow rush filled band around the perimeter.

The 'excavation' is postdated by an enclosure wall which crosses the barrow centrally from NW to SE. The wall, 2.5m wide and from 0.5m to 1.5m high, is a turf-covered earth and stone bank, its top and sides revetted with edge set stones.

The barrow is a Scheduled Monument (Devon 209a) (11). MacDermot (12) states that the boundary perambulation of 1815 referred to a "Boundary Stone placed in a Burrow called Settaburrow" (sic) however there is no trace of one now which may suggest that the 'excavation' was undertaken after this date and before the first enclosures. The wall crossing the barrow marks the line of the Devon/Somerset County Boundary and also the southern boundary of the Forest of Exmoor. According to Burton(14) it was almost certainly built by "H A Bryant, whose allotment adjoined the Barrow and Forest Boundary". On the 1890 Ordnance Survey map (10) a Triangulation Station is shown on the SW edge of the barrow. This was presumably one of the County Series buried Trigs as there is no evidence of an O S Trig Point on the barrow as stated by Authority (5) above. (10-15)

Setta Barrow and accompanying barrows are clearly visible on aerial photographs of the area. While the surrounding ditch appears to have been damaged by the construction of the county boundary, the mound itself appears remarkably well preserved (16).

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1962
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Source Number : 2
Source : Devonshire Association reports and transactions
Source details : R Hansford Worth
Page(s) : 64-5
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Vol(s) : 38
Source Number : 11
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Ordnance Survey 1890 (Surveyed 1888) 1:2500 Devon 11:5.
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Source Number : 12
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : English Heritage 1987 County List of Scheduled Ancient Monuments: Devon 17, County No:209.
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Source Number : 13
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : MacDermot E T 1911 "The History of the Forest of Exmoor" (Rev of 1973) 421.
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Source Number : 14
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Burton R A 1989 'The Heritage of Exmoor' 161.
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Source Number : 15
Source : Setta Barrow/ink survey
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Source Number : 16
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR OS/73087 623-24 17-APR-1973
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Source Number : 3
Source : Devonshire Association reports and transactions
Source details : J F Chanter & R Handsford Worth
Page(s) : 395
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Plates : 8
Vol(s) : 37
Source Number : 4
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 JP 31-AUG-65
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Source Number : 5
Source : Somerset archaeology and natural history : the proceedings of the Somersetshire Archaeological and Natural History Society
Source details :
Page(s) : 17,33
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Vol(s) : 113
Source Number : 6
Source : Devon Archaeological Society Proceedings
Source details :
Page(s) : 104,121
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Vol(s) : 28
Source Number : 7
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Hist of the Forest of Exmoor 1911 (Reprint 1973) 113,301,307,358,367,401,421 (E T MacDermot)
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Source Number : 8
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : DOE (IAM) AMs Eng 2 1978 40
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Source Number : 9
Source : Ancient Exmoor : a study of the archaeology and prehistory of Exmoor
Source details :
Page(s) : 15,16,40
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Source Number : 10
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Sainsbury I S 03-AUG-1995 RCHME Field Investigation.
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Bronze Age
Display Date : Bronze Age
Monument End Date : -700
Monument Start Date : -2600
Monument Type : Bowl Barrow
Evidence : Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Post Medieval
Monument End Date : 1901
Monument Start Date : 1540
Monument Type : Boundary Wall
Evidence : Structure

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Somerset)
External Cross Reference Number : 33014
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : SO 209A
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Devonshire)
External Cross Reference Number : 730
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : HER Number (Exmoor National Park)
External Cross Reference Number : MSO6806
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : NBR Index Number
External Cross Reference Number : 97/00165
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SS 73 NW 1
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 35052
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 35030
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SS 73 NW 1
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1965-08-31
End Date : 1965-08-31
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