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Two Barrows

Hob Uid: 35011
Location :
Somerset, Devon
West Somerset, North Devon
Exmoor, North Molton
Grid Ref : SS7478136216
Summary : A group of three Bronze Age barrows comprising two disc barrows (A & C) and a bowl barrow (B). A measures 21m by 13m and 0.9m in height and has been truncated by a boundary wall. It has at least three quarry holes made by robbing and there is no evidence of a ditch. B is 18m by 2.1m high and has a central excavation hollow. C, 15.5m by 0.5m high and also has a small hollow about 2m by 0.4m. A fourth barrow similar in size lies across the county boundary in Devon (see NMR UID 35046) but is likely to have been part of this group.
More information : (SS 74753620 & SS 74863622) Two Barrows (NR) (SS74713631) Tumuli (NR) (One of two, the other in Devon, SS 73 NW 12) (1)
Exmoor No 16, SS 74713621, a bowl barrow 22 paces diameter and 2 ft. high.
Exmoor No 17, SS 74753620, a bowl barrow with OS trig pillar on top.
Exmoor No 18, SS 74863622, a bowl barrow 18 paces diameter and 1 ft. high, small hollow in centre. (2)

Grinsell's 16 and 18 are both truncated bowl barrows. 17 is a bowl barrow with a hollow in the centre. An excavation trench runs across it from SW to NE. Published survey 1/2500 revised. (3)

Exmoor 16, 17 and 18. Bowl barrows listed, details as Authy 2,among Two Barrows group. Exmoor 16 visited by Grinsell 23 May 1961, Exmoor 17 and 18 Visited April 1949. Named Twoburroughs in 1632. (4)

SS 74783622. A group of three barrows is situated about 482m above OD on the summit of the ridge between Hangley Cleave on the north and Fyldon Common on the south. The road from Kinsford Gate to Sandyway Cross crosses the southern part of the ridge and the Devon/Somerset County Boundary runs along the northern side of this minor road. The fairly level summit of the ridge is covered with rough grass and reeds; there are excellent views; southwards across to Dartmoor, westwards to Barnstaple Bay, north to the Chains ridge and eastwards to Dunkery Beacon.

SS 7470236210. Barrow A, nearest the road, is visible as a rather amorphous turf-covered earth and stone flat-topped mound about 21m NW/SE by 13m and 0.9m in maximum height. The SW side has been truncated by the boundary wall, its ditch and the road, so the barrow is not complete. There are at least three quarry holes in the interior of the barrow which suggest robbing, possibly for the wall. There in no evidence of a surrounding ditch to the barrow. The barrow was used as a marker for the County Boundary and the Exmoor Forest (5).

SS 74743 36208. Barrow B, the most apparent of the group, is evident as a mutilated earthen mound varying in diameter from about 18m NW/SE to 19.8m NE/SW and 2.1m in maximum height. The barrow has a central 'excavation' hollow , 2m in diameter and 0.4m deep. Spoil from this hollow has been dumped around the summit creating an irregular false top which obscures the original flat top which must have been about 1.7m high. As well as the central hollow an excavation trench, 2m wide and 0.8m deep, has been cut into the barrow from the WSW. A similar though less well defined linear hollow, 1.5m wide, 0.4m deep, through the east side suggests a continuation for this excavation across the barrow. An apparent backfilled trench, 1m wide and 0.2m deep, in the NNE may be no more than a path over the barrow. The trenches do not appear to have sectioned the ditch, which is visible as a band of reeds about 2.5m wide around most of the perimeter. The barrow has been used as a viewpoint and there is some erosion caused by walkers up its south side.

On the 1889 (6) and 1904 (7) Ordnance Survey maps a Triangulation Point is shown on the SE summit of the barrow although there is now no evidence of one as stated by authority 2.

SS 7485636225. Barrow C, the most easterly, is visible as a low earthen grass and reed-covered flat-topped mound varying in diameter from 15.5m NE/SW up to 16.5m E/W and 0.5m in maximum height. The southern half of the barrow is mainly covered by dense reeds. A small hollow, about 2m in diameter and 0.4m deep, near centre in the NW suggests it has been dug and the spoil spread around giving a rather uneven surface. There is no trace of an accompanying ditch, however probing revealed softer peat around the periphery suggesting that there was one which has now become completely silted.

Barrows A and C are clearly disc type barrows whilst B is distinctly of the flat-topped bowl type. The barrows are a Scheduled Monument: Somerset County No: 170. (7)

*Note: On the 1889 (5) and 1904 (6) editions of the Ordnance Survey maps the name Two Barrrows appears between barrows B and C. This has, unfortunately, given the name to the whole group which is a misnomer as it actually contains four barrows; A,B & C, as above, on the Somerset side of the boundary and a fourth barrow at SS 7463 3621 treated separately as SS 73 NW 12) on the Devon side. (5-9)

The barrows described above are clearly visible on aerial photographs as earthwork mounds either side of the Devon/Somerset county boundary. A fourth barrow (see NMR UID 35046) which lies in Devon has been recorded separately as a result of this, but is more than likely to be part of the same group (10).
NB. The Somerset HER has numbered the barrows individually. The HER numbers are as follows; barrow A; 33020, barrow B; 33018 and barrow C; 33019.

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1962
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Source Number : 2
Source : Somerset barrows, part 1 : west and south
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Source Number : 3
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 JP 31-AUG-65
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Source Number : 4
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 : 5
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : Sainsbury I S 23-AUG-1995 RCHME Field Investigation.
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Source Number : 6
Source : The history of the Forest of Exmoor
Source details :
Page(s) : 181-182
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Source Number : 7
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : Ordnance Survey 1889 (Surveyed 1888) 1:2500 Somerset 44:16.
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Source Number : 8
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : Ordnance Survey 1094 (Revised 1902) 1:2500 Somerset 44:16.
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Source Number : 9
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : English Heritage County List of Scheduled Monuments: Somerset County No:170, 24.
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Source Number : 10
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR OS/96559 11-12 07-MAY-1996
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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, Disc Barrow
Evidence : Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Somerset)
External Cross Reference Number : 33018
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Somerset)
External Cross Reference Number : 33019
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Somerset)
External Cross Reference Number : 33020
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : SO 170
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : HER Number (Exmoor National Park)
External Cross Reference Number : MSO6807
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SS 73 NW 2
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 35043
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : FIELD OBSERVATION ON SS 73 NW 2
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1965-08-31
End Date : 1965-08-31
Associated Activities : RCHME: WEST EXMOOR PROJECT
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 1993-01-01
End Date : 1996-12-31
Associated Activities : ENGLISH HERITAGE: EXMOOR NATIONAL PARK NMP
Activity type : AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH INTERPRETATION
Start Date : 2007-04-01
End Date : 2009-07-01