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HER Number:MDV12400
Name:Prehistoric Finds from Southdown Farm, Clovelly


A number of prehistoric implements found at Sowden (Southdown) Farm.


Grid Reference:SS 29 23
Map Sheet:SS22SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishClovelly
Civil ParishHartland
Ecclesiastical ParishHARTLAND

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS22SE/5
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SS22SE8

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • ARTEFACT SCATTER (Early Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 4000 BC to 701 BC (Between))

Full description

Worth, R. H., 1936, A Stone Celt from North Devon, 137 (Article in Serial). SDV341431.

A stone celt found at Sowden (Southdown).
It is poished over the whole surface as far as the material will permit; it is oval in section with a conical butt.
The present length is 6 7/8 inches, and its wieght 33 1/3 ounces. The cutting edge has been lost, either from use or accident, and it would appear that after the loss of the cutting edge the implement was still used as a hammer, since the broad end has certainly been bruised and worn.
The material is pyroxinite, and has a granular texture which must always have resisted any fine polish. No closely similar rock is to be found in either Devon or Cornwall, within my knowledge. Both in form and material the implement much resembles certain "greenstone" celts described by Evans, principally from Yorkshire; but he records one from as far south as Blackwater, Hants.
It is difficult to determine what must have been the length of the celt when complete; it certainly exceeded 7 1/2 inches. Other details: Photos.

Worth, R. H., 1942, Flint Implements from North Devon, 110 (Article in Serial). SDV338604.

A ground stone celt was found at Sowden Farm. Greenish-grey with fretted or weathered surface. The polish is still left on some of the hornblende crystals. Cross-section, oval, perfect. The second celt of this type found here - late Neolithic or Early Bronze Age. Other details: Photos.

Anonymous, 1962, Untitled Source, 253 (Article in Serial). SDV341434.

Petrological analysis defined the fabric as of Group 1A.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1979 - 1982, SS22SE8 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV341432.

Neolithic implements from Sowden.
1. Leaf arrowhead with broken point. Original length 1.625 inches, thickness 0.188 inch.
2. Brown-black flint scrapter.
3. Ground stone axe, length 7 inches, maximum width 3 inches, maximum thickness 1.688 inches.
An axe of pyroxenite, resembling greenstone, polished over the whole surface was found at Sowden. Its cutting edge was lost and it was subsequently used as a hammer so that its length, now 172 millimetres, must have exceeded 187 millimetres.
Both Neolithic stone axes have been petrologically examined. One is classed as of greenstone and the other of Group 1A rock the origin for whichis unknown. They are in the Royal Athenaeum Museum, Barnstaple.

Timms, S. C., 1982, Untitled Source (Personal Comment). SDV341433.

Axe on display at Museum of Athenaeum at Barnstaple.

Collings, A. G. + Manning, P. T. + Valentin, J., 2007, The North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Phase 1. Archaeological Survey. Summary Report, No. 674 (Report - Assessment). SDV339712.

A number of neolithic implements have been found in the vicinity of Sowden, Hartland. These included a leaf-shaped arrowhead, a scraper and two axes.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV338604Article in Serial: Worth, R. H.. 1942. Flint Implements from North Devon. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 74. A5 Hardback. 110.
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. 674.
SDV341431Article in Serial: Worth, R. H.. 1936. A Stone Celt from North Devon. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 68. A5 Hardback. 137.
SDV341432Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1979 - 1982. SS22SE8. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV341433Personal Comment: Timms, S. C.. 1982.
SDV341434Article in Serial: Anonymous. 1962. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society. 28. Unknown. 253.

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Dec 4 2015 12:36PM