HeritageGateway - Home
Site Map
Text size: A A A
You are here: Home > > > > Historic England research records Result
Historic England research recordsPrintable version | About Historic England research records

Historic England Research Records

Wood Barrow

Hob Uid: 35361
Location :
Somerset, Devon
Somerset West and Taunton, North Devon
Exmoor, Challacombe
Grid Ref : SS7162042500
Summary : A prehistoric bowl barrow visible as an earthwork lies on the Devon/Somerset boundary. The monument is well-defined and measures some 26m in diameter. The remains of a crude excavation are evident as a central oval depression and the spoil from this has been spread over the summit of the barrow increasing its original height. There is a suggestion that the name "Wood Barrow" has derived from "Ward" perhaps giving some reference to the site being used as a beacon.
More information : (SS 71624250) Wood Barrow (NR) (1)

SS 71634250. Challacombe 27. Wood Barrow 28 paces diameter, 7 ft high with a hollow in the top. A surrounding ditch is indicated by rushes. Visited April 1959. The name Wood Barrow may be derived from Ward Barrow, possibly where watch and ward were kept, in which case it would have be formerly used as a beacon. It is on the Devon/Somerset booundary and was included in the bounds of Exmoor Forest. (2)

SS 71624250. Wood Barrow, a bowl barrow 28.0 metres in diameter and 1.8 metres high with a slight 0.5 metre deep central mutilation. Surveyed at 1:2500. (3)

SS 716425. Wood Barrow. Scheduled. (4)

SS 71634250. Exmoor 1. Wood Barrow listed, details as Authy 2. (5)

SS 7163 4251 Wood Barrow, a turf-covered round barrow.

This bowl barrow is prominently situated in rough grassland at 477m above OD astride the Devon/Somerset County Boundary. There are extensive views; northwards to the Bristol Channel and the coast of South Wales, eastwards to Chains Barrow (SS 74 SW 4) and beyond, southwards to Five Barrows (SS 73 NW 5) and westwards across to the Chapman Barrows (SS 64 SE 19).
The barrow is well defined with a clear periphery giving a diameter of 26m. Probing revealed an earth and stone content. The remains of a crude excavation dug from the western side, are evident as a central oval depression 10.5m E/W 2m-3m wide and about 0.7m deep. The spoil from this excavation has been spread around the summit of the barrow forming a 'cap' which increases its original height of about 1.8m by some 0.7m to 2.5m. The spoil is quite stony and from the depth achieved by the excavation it appears that any contents in the interior could still be intact.
A band of rushes, about 2m wide, surrounding the barrow suggests an original ditch, now silted.

The barrow is shown as 'Wadborowe' on "Map of Exmore" of 1675(6). Grinsell (7) states that the earliest known mention of this site (as Woodburrow, Woodburrowgh, and Woodburrowg) seems to be in The Survey of Exmoor Chase dated the 25 March 1651, but a reference by John Leland implies that it can be taken back to about 1540. Grinsell also states that MacDermot (1911, p113) suggests that the use of this barrow as a Forest and County boundary marker dates from 1207 if not earlier.
The site is a Scheduled Ancient Monument: Devon 238 (8) and Somerset 168 (9). (6-9)

Wood Barrow is clearly visible as a substantial earthwork on aerial photographs taken for Exmoor National Park Authority; however the ditch described is not apparent (11).

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1962
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : Devon Archaeological Society proceedings
Source details : 1970 L V Grinsell
Page(s) : 103-115
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 28
Source Number : 11
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : Exmoor National Park Authority MAL 4974-75 16-AUG-1981
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 MJF 1-OCT-74
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : DOE (IAM) AMs Eng 2 1978 117
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 5
Source : Somerset archaeology and natural history : the proceedings of the Somersetshire Archaeological and Natural History Society
Source details : 1969 L V Grinsell
Page(s) : 32
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 113
Source Number : 6
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : MacDermot E T 1973 A History of the Forest of Exmoor Frontispiece Map
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 7
Source : Devon Archaeological Society proceedings
Source details : Grinsell L V 1970
Page(s) : 95-129
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 28
Source Number : 8
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : 1979 List of Scheduled Ancient Monuments: Devon DAS/DCRA Publication No 5, p20, County No 238
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 9
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : 1987 Schedule of Ancient Monuments: Somerset English Heritage, County No 168
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 10
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Sainsbury I S 8-MAR-1995 RCHME Field Investigation
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 : Bowl Barrow
Evidence : Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Uncertain
Display Date :
Monument End Date :
Monument Start Date :
Monument Type : Beacon
Evidence : Conjectural Evidence

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Somerset)
External Cross Reference Number : 33023
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : HER Number (Exmoor National Park)
External Cross Reference Number : MDE1283
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Devonshire)
External Cross Reference Number : 658
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : NBR Index Number
External Cross Reference Number : 2K/00046
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SS 74 SW 13
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SS 74 SW 13
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1974-10-01
End Date : 1974-10-01
Associated Activities : Primary, ENGLISH HERITAGE: EXMOOR NATIONAL PARK NMP
Activity type : AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH INTERPRETATION
Start Date : 2007-04-01
End Date : 2009-07-01