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Chains Barrow

Hob Uid: 35326
Location :
Somerset
West Somerset
Exmoor
Grid Ref : SS7345041900
Summary : Chains Barrow - a bowl barrow visible as a flat-topped earthwork of a maximum diameter of c.25m into which has been inserted a triangulation pillar. The uneven surface of the summit suggests that spoil has been backfilled to support the pillar. There are traces of a surrounding ditch about 2m wide and a maximum depth of 0.2m evidenced by a shallow rush-filled hollow.
More information : [SS 73454190] Chains Barrow (NR) (1)

Chains Barrow (Exmoor No. 2), is 25 paces in diameter and 6 ft high: there is an OS trig pillar on top.
Scheduled (3). (2,3)

A large bowl barrow apparently undisturbed except by the OS trig pillar. See GP AO/65/129/3

Published survey (1/2500) revised.(4)

No change. Surveyed at 1:2500 on PFD. (5)

Exmoor 2. Chains Barrow listed, details as Authy 2. Visited by Grinsell 8th Sept 1959. This or Exmoor 3(SS 74SW 5) may have been called Exaborough in the 17th century (7). It is known as Cheyne Barrow in 1653. (6,7)

SS 7345741904. Chains Barrow is prominently situated in an area of grassland on the summit of The Chains ridge about 485m above OD. There are panoramic views; NW to the Chapman, Longstone and Wood Barrows, E to Alderman's Barrow and Dunkery Beacon, and triangulation pillar is set into the summit slightly SW of its centre and the base is eroded to a depth of about 0.2m into the barrow.

The barrow is evident as a turf-covered, flat-topped earth and stone mound of 1.7m maximum height and varying in overall diameter from 23.6m N/S to 24.8m E/W. Its sides are badly eroded in places probably by sheep. There is a distinct change of profile at the edge of the flat top which is some 15.5m in diameter. Although there is no documentary evidence for excavation the uneven surface of the summit area suggests spoil may have been backfilled and consolidated to support the trig pillar. There are traces of a surrounding ditch, about 2m wide and 0.2m maximum depth, evidenced by a shallow rush-filled hollow around the periphery.

The barrow is a Scheduled monument (a) and is surrounded by peat cuttings which have come close to the ditch on the SW side. It has been enclosed by a fence to protect it from sheep and cattle however this is too close to the rim of the barrow, actually encroaching on the outer lip of the ditch, and it is causing an erroneous edge to the feature, especially around the S arc.

Surveyed at 1:2500. (8)

The Chains Barrow is clearly visible on aerial photographs; however, the surrounding ditch cannot be discerned as it lies in an area of post medieval drainage and peat cutting, which appears to have obscured the profile (9).

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1962
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Source Number : 2
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : W Somer Barrows Mss (L V Grinsell)
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Source Number : 3
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : DOE (IAM) AMs Eng 1978 117
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Source Number : 4
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 JP 01-JUL-65
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Source Number : 5
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F2 MJF 04-FEB-75
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Source Number : 6
Source : Somerset barrows, part 1 : west and south
Source details : P Somer A & NHS 113 1969 - Supplement 16,32
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Vol(s) : 113
Source Number : 7
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Hist of the Forest of Exmoor 1911 (Reprint 1973) 402 (E T MacDermot)
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Source Number : 8
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Sainsbury IS, 03-MAY-1995 RCHME Field Investigation
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Source Number : 9
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : English Heritage 1987, County List of Scheduled Ancient Monuments: Somerset 24, County No.157
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Source Number : 10
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : RAF CPE/UK/2082 3107-08 19-MAY-1947
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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

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Somerset)
External Cross Reference Number : 33030
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : SO 157
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : HER Number (Exmoor National Park)
External Cross Reference Number : MSO6836
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SS 74 SW 4
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : FIELD OBSERVATION ON SS 74 SW 4
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1965-07-01
End Date : 1965-07-01
Associated Activities : FIELD OBSERVATION ON SS 74 SW 4
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1975-02-04
End Date : 1975-02-04
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