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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 35068

Hob Uid: 35068
Location :
North Devon
North Molton
Grid Ref : SS7791032490
Summary : Two Bronze Age barrows are visible on North Molton Ridge, North Molton. The first at SS 7784 3254 is visible as a flat-topped sub-circular mound measuring 19.2m in diameter and 0.5m high. It has suffered from considerable disturbance from robbing and excavation and has more recently had cattle feeders inserted into it. Traces of a surrounding ditch are visible on the south-eastern side. The second at SS 7796 3245 is of a similar definition and measures 21.5m by 19.5m with a height of 1m. A triangulation pillar has been inserted into it. Around this barrow is a scarp with external ditch and bank which has been interpreted as either a beacon of medieval date or a later tree enclosure.
More information : [SS 77853254] Tumuli (NR)
[SS 77973246] Beacon (NR) (1)

"North Molton No 13", (SS 77853254) seen by C Whybrow and Grinsell in 1961. Suggested that the circumferential rim represents enclosure as a tree clump in c 18th cent, but it is possible that it is an original feature. Diameter 20 paces, height 2 1/2'.

"North Molton No 14", (the Beacon), (SS 77973246) seen by Whybrow and Grinsell in 1961. Mound 67' diameter and 4' high crowned by OS trig pillar, total diameter of barrow 57 paces. Enclosed, except on N, by berm, bank and outer ditch. These could be original features or the result of tree planting. (2)

Site of pre-Elizabethan beacon. (3)

SS 77843254. An 0.5 metre high, 20.0 metre diameter flat-topped mound with an 0.3 metre high 'bank or rim' atopping the southern half, and with traces of an outer ditch.

Most probably a mutilated barrow, and rather small for a tree ring. In a poor condition.

SS 77963245. An 0.9 metre high, 22.0 metre diameter mound surrounded, except on the north side, by a wide berm, a bank, 0.5 metres high internally and 0.8 metres high externally, and an 0.3 metre deep ditch. Most probably a round barrow which has been either adapted as a beacon site or is mutilated as the result of tree planting. Published survey 1:2500 revised. (4)

Two barrows occupy the summit of North Molton Ridge.

At SS 77843254 is a mutilated prehistoric barrow. It comprises a flat-topped, turf-covered, sub-circular mound, averaging 19.2m in diameter and 0.5m high. The mound has a very disturbed appearance, probably the result of robbing and illicit excavation in the past, and more recently the result of cattle feeders being placed upon it. Two breaks are visible on the northern and southern sides of the mound which are associated with these events. The northern one is 1.3m wide, whilst the southern one is 2.3m wide and still has traces of vechicle ruts in it. A spoil mound 0.9m high lies on the eastern side of this break. The eastern half of the mound has a bank-like rim around its crest, which may be the residual fabric of the barrow. On the south-eastern side of the barrow is an external ditch 1m wide and 0.2m deep. Fragmentary traces of it are visible on the western side. The barrow is covered in a mixture of heather, grass and moss. It has a panoramic aspect.

At SS 77963245 is a second barrow, the summit of which is now occupied by an OS Triangulation Pillar. The barrow comprises a well-defined , flat-topped, turf-covered, circular mound 21.5m north-south by 19.5m west-east. It is 1m high and has a summit diameter of 8.8m. The summit is poorly defined, and its shape, sub-circular to sub-square, has been altered, perhaps by the construction of the Pillar. There is no trace of a ditch around the barrow. The barrow has extensive views in all directions except to the north-north-west.
Around the barrow, and at a distance of 7.6m from it, is an outward-facing scarp, 1.1m high, with external ditch, and in places a slight external bank. The feature is continuous except on the northern side, where it was apparently not constructed. It defines an area of ground around the barrow, which is raised above the surrounding moorland on the west, east and south. The absence of the feature on the northern side is explained by the rising ground in this direction, which would not have facilitated the same effect. The feature apparently post-dates the construction of the barrow, and is best interpreted in a post-medieval context: either associated with the beacon suggested by Source 3 or more likley with the tree stand suggested by Source 2. As such it would have provided a dry platform for trees, to be viewed from the south. This land is still in estate ownership, belonging to the Stucley Estates. (5)

The barrows described above are clearly visible on aerial photographs, along with several smaller mounds which have been tenatively identified as prehistoric burial monuments (6).

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1962
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 2
Source : Devon Archaeological Society proceedings
Source details :
Page(s) : 98,126
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 28 (1970)
Source Number : 3
Source : Devonshire Association reports and transactions
Source details :
Page(s) : 282
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 87
Source Number : 4
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 MJF 07-MAR-73
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 5
Source details : Wilson-North, WR 4-Jan-1995 RCHME Field Investigation
Page(s) :
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Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 6
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : RAF 106G/UK/1420 3449-50 15-APR-1946
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Bronze Age
Display Date : Bronze Age
Monument End Date : -700
Monument Start Date : -2600
Monument Type : Round Barrow
Evidence : Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Medieval
Monument End Date : 1540
Monument Start Date : 1066
Monument Type : Beacon
Evidence : Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Post Medieval
Monument End Date : 1901
Monument Start Date : 1540
Monument Type : Tree Enclosure Ring
Evidence : Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Devonshire)
External Cross Reference Number : 696
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Devonshire)
External Cross Reference Number : 697
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : HER Number (Exmoor National Park)
External Cross Reference Number : MDE1208
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SS 73 SE 1
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1492922
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SS 73 SE 1
Start Date : 1973-03-07
End Date : 1973-03-07
Associated Activities : Primary, RCHME: WEST EXMOOR PROJECT
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 1993-01-01
End Date : 1996-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SS 73 SE 1
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 1995-01-04
End Date : 1995-01-04
Start Date : 2007-04-01
End Date : 2009-07-01