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HER Number:MDV108
Name:Ring Cairn 540 metres south west of Higher Welsford, Hartland

Summary

Ring Cairn 540 metres south west of Higher Welsford. The ring-shaped earthwork banks are clearly visible on aerial photographs from 1946 onwards, between two linear ridges of geological origin. The aerial photographic survey recorded many different impacts on the monument which will have affected its condition and survival.

Location

Grid Reference:SS 274 208
Map Sheet:SS22SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishHartland
DistrictTorridge
Ecclesiastical ParishHARTLAND

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS22SE/14
  • Old SAM County Ref: 304(2)
  • Old SAM Ref: 32237

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • RING CAIRN (Bronze Age - 2200 BC to 701 BC (Between))

Full description

Unknown, Ring Bank Site, Welsford Moor - Hartland (Plan - measured). SDV348558.


Silvester, R. J., Ring Cairn (Worksheet). SDV340153.

Visited 11/12/1977. West side well preserved. Surrounding area has been ploughed. Cut by a drain, which shows ditch 0.7m deep. This has been done since scheduling.


Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, SS22SE5 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV339178.

Visited 6/12/1978. On a south facing slope a circular bank with an outer ditch.45m diameter overall, 38m diameter between tops of banks. Bank average 5m wide, 0.5m high. In places ditch clearly visible, only vague in other places. Interior is slightly dished with no evidence of any mound. The completeness of the bank, and the exterior ditch, do not suggest a henge, but the earthen equivalent of a ring cairn - a 'ring barrow' of the enclosed cremation cemetery type.


Warren and Co. Surveyors., 1844, First copy of the map of the Parish of Hartland in the County of Devon in two Parts., Part 1 (Cartographic). SDV349361.

The north to south aligned boundary that bisects this monument is depicted.


Ordnance Survey, 1880-1899, First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map (Cartographic). SDV336179.

Circular earthwork depicted.


Royal Air Force, 1946, 3G/TUD/UK 158/5121-2 (Aerial Photograph). SDV340154.


Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/3G/TUD/UK/158, DCC RAF/3G/TUD/UK/158 5121-5122 19-APR-1946 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349143.

The ring-shaped earthwork banks are clearly visible and have been impacted by modern deep ploughing.


Department of Environment, 1953, Barrow and Ring on Welsford Moor (Schedule Document). SDV339176.


Royal Air Force, 1959, RAF/58/2984, NMR RAF/58/2984 F22 0031-0032 30-JUN-1959 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349064.

Although obscured by clouds, the earthwork banks are visible, but there does not appear to be a deep drainage ditch or metalled trackway on the western side of the hedgebank.


Grinsell, L. V., 1970, The Barrows of North Devon, 120 (Article in Serial). SDV7849.

Visited 5/4/1969. Possibly a henge. The site is earlier than the field bank which crosses it. Diameter 49 paces, height 1.5 feet.


Ordnance Survey, 1978, OS/78038, NMR OS/78038 243-244 10-MAY-1978 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349082.

The earthworks on the east of the ring-shaped monument are not under active cultivation, whilst those on the east are clipped closely by the plough. A deep ditch is visible along the western boundary of the hedgebank that bisects the monument.


Devon Committee for Rescue Archaeology, 1979 - 1981, North Devon Barrow Survey, DCRA ND37 (Archive - Survey). SDV341310.

Site visit 8th november 1979. 43.5 metres diameter. Bank circa 0.3-1.0 metres high. Badly damaged. Cut south-west to north-east by a hedge and drainage ditches. Bank eroded at many points with tractor marks crossing it. No sign of central mound. Vegetation basically moorland. Vague signs of ditch circa 2.5-3.0 metres wide, 0.3 metres deep all around. Unusual site but now in poor condition.


Allden, A., 1981, A Study of some Devon Barrows and their Diminishing Future, ND37 (Report - non-specific). SDV339662.


Weston, S., 1982, List of Field Monument Warden Visits (Un-published). SDV345675.

Department of Environment Field Monument Warden visit in July/August 1982.


Clare, T., 1986, Towards a Reappraisal of Henge Monuments, 281-316 (Article in Serial). SDV339180.

Clare includes this site in gazetteer of henge monuments.


Horner, B., 1996, Ring Cairn (Personal Comment). SDV339181.

West side visited 5/9/1996. Some cattle poaching but otherwise stable. Eastern half in harvested grass crop.


GetMapping, 1999, 089/99, DCC GM/089/99 0255-0256 24-JUL-1999 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349037.

Tramlines from agricultural operations cross the earthwork banks on the eastern side of the monument, but closely follow the monument's western earthwork banks.


Department for Culture, Media and Sport, 1999, Ring Cairn and Bowl Barrow 540m south west of Higher Welsford (Schedule Document). SDV339177.

The ring cairn survives as a circular enclosure, 32.9m in diameter, which is enclosed by a bank measuring up to 3.9m wide and 1m high. An outer ditch is visible on the eastern side where it measures up to 3.9m wide and 0.1m deep. Elsewhere it is preserved as a buried feature. The whole feature is crossed by a substantial field boundary bank which runns approximately north west to sout east and is deeply ditched on the western side and supports a stockproof fence on its eastern side. Immediately adjacent to the coundary and running parallel with it on the western side is a track. This has been built up to a height of 0.4m and is 5.4m wide.
The bowl barrow lies to the east and survives as a circular mound which is 29.4m in diameter and 1.4m high. The surrounding ditch is preerved as a buried feature approximately 3m wide. The archaeologically sensitive area between these two features is included in the scheduling.


Gerrard, H., 1999, Untitled Source, Photos (Correspondence). SDV358819.


Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photography, 2001, CUCAP ZknLQ, CUCAP ZknLQ 0074-0075 22-JUN-2001 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349638.

The eastern part of the ringwork appears to be under cultivation.


Next Perspectives, 2007, Next Perspectives PGA Tile Ref:, Next Perspectives PGA Tile Ref: SS2720 22-AUG-2007 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349178.

Tramlines from agricultural operations do not cross the ring-shaped earthwork banks, but do clip them very closely. No water trough is visible.


Collings, A. G. + Manning, P. T. + Valentin, J., 2007, The North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Phase 1. Archaeological Survey. Summary Report, No. 565 (Report - Assessment). SDV339712.

Ring cairn and bowl barrow 540 metres south-west of Higher Welsford. Ring cairn survives as circular enclosure 32.9 metres diam, enclosed by bank up to 3.9 metres wide by 1 metres high. Outer ditch visible on east side.


Hegarty, C. + Knight, S., 2011 - 2012, North Devon Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty National Mapping Programme Project (Interpretation). SDV349018.

The ring-shaped earthwork banks are clearly visible on aerial photographs between 1946 and 2007, and were viewed on a site visit in 2012. No stonework was visible and this could perhaps be better termed a ring barrow. It is sited between two linear ridges that run east to west for a considerable distance, which are presumably caused by rock outcrops, and this siting may be intentional. Numerous anthropogenic impacts can be inferred from the cartographic and aerial photographic record, including: the bisection of the monument by a field boundary before 1844; pre-1946 deep ploughing that created ridges and furrows aligned north to south across at least the southern and eastern parts of the banks; the excavation of a deep drainage ditch (and possibly a metalled track) on the western side of the boundary between 1959 and 1978; plough 'clipping' of the edges of the earthwork between 1978 and 2007; possible ploughing or harvesting of the eastern section in 1999 and 2001; and installation of a water trough on the eastern earthworks after 2007. The transcription is sited slightly to the north-east of the site of the monument defined by modern mapping.


Hegarty, C. & Knight, S., 2012-2013, North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty National Mapping Programme Project site visit (Site Visit). SDV349357.

The western side of the monument is visible as an earthwork in grassland, with rushes internally. The trackway is grassed over and the drainage ditch is running. Although it does not appear to have been ploughed recently, the rest of the field is in cultivation. The eastern side was partly visible over the hedgebank, and a water trough sited on the earthwork has caused some poaching.


Ordnance Survey, 2014, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV355681.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV339176Schedule Document: Department of Environment. 1953. Barrow and Ring on Welsford Moor. The Schedule of Monuments. Foolscap.
SDV339177Schedule Document: Department for Culture, Media and Sport. 1999. Ring Cairn and Bowl Barrow 540m south west of Higher Welsford. The Schedule of Monuments. A4 Stapled.
SDV339178Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. SS22SE5. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV339180Article in Serial: Clare, T.. 1986. Towards a Reappraisal of Henge Monuments. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society. 52. Unknown. 281-316.
SDV339181Personal Comment: Horner, B.. 1996. Ring Cairn.
SDV339662Report - non-specific: Allden, A.. 1981. A Study of some Devon Barrows and their Diminishing Future. Devon Committee for Rescue Archaeology Publication. 10. A4 Stapled + Digital. ND37.
SDV339712Report - Assessment: Collings, A. G. + Manning, P. T. + Valentin, J.. 2007. The North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Phase 1. Archaeological Survey. Summary Report. Exeter Archaeology Report. 06.22 (rev.1). A4 Stapled + Digital. No. 565.
SDV340153Worksheet: Silvester, R. J.. Ring Cairn. Worksheet + Digital.
SDV340154Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. 3G/TUD/UK 158/5121-2. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper).
SDV341310Archive - Survey: Devon Committee for Rescue Archaeology. 1979 - 1981. North Devon Barrow Survey. Devon Barrow Survey. Digital + Mixed Archive Material. DCRA ND37.
SDV345675Un-published: Weston, S.. 1982. List of Field Monument Warden Visits. Lists of Field Monument Warden Visits. Printout.
SDV348558Plan - measured: Unknown. Ring Bank Site, Welsford Moor - Hartland. Plan + Digital.
SDV349018Interpretation: Hegarty, C. + Knight, S.. 2011 - 2012. North Devon Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty National Mapping Programme Project. AC Archaeology Report. ACD383/2/1. Digital.
Linked documents:1
SDV349037Aerial Photograph: GetMapping. 1999. 089/99. GetMapping Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). DCC GM/089/99 0255-0256 24-JUL-1999.
SDV349064Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1959. RAF/58/2984. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). NMR RAF/58/2984 F22 0031-0032 30-JUN-1959.
SDV349082Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1978. OS/78038. Ordnance Survey Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). NMR OS/78038 243-244 10-MAY-1978.
SDV349143Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/3G/TUD/UK/158. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). DCC RAF/3G/TUD/UK/158 5121-5122 19-APR-1946.
SDV349178Aerial Photograph: Next Perspectives. 2007. Next Perspectives PGA Tile Ref:. Pan Government Agreement Aerial Photographs. Digital. Next Perspectives PGA Tile Ref: SS2720 22-AUG-2007.
SDV349357Site Visit: Hegarty, C. & Knight, S.. 2012-2013. North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty National Mapping Programme Project site visit. ND AONB NMP. Digital.
SDV349361Cartographic: Warren and Co. Surveyors.. 1844. First copy of the map of the Parish of Hartland in the County of Devon in two Parts.. Tithe Map. Part 1.
SDV349638Aerial Photograph: Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photography. 2001. CUCAP ZknLQ. Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photography. Photograph (Paper). CUCAP ZknLQ 0074-0075 22-JUN-2001.
SDV355681Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2014. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #67390 ]
SDV358819Correspondence: Gerrard, H.. 1999. Letter from English Heritage. Letter + Digital. Photos.
SDV7849Article in Serial: Grinsell, L. V.. 1970. The Barrows of North Devon. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 28. A5 Paperback. 120.

Associated Monuments

MDV107Related to: Bowl Barrow 540 metres south west of Higher Welsford, Hartland (Monument)
MDV124651Related to: Round Barrow Cemetery 920 metres south-west of Higher Welsford, Hartland (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6132 - North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty NMP Project
  • EDV4415 - Devon Barrow Survey

Date Last Edited:Jan 16 2019 1:53PM