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HER Number:MDV124651
Name:Round Barrow Cemetery 920 metres south-west of Higher Welsford, Hartland


Round barrow cemetery comprising five barrows. The barrows survive well despite a reduction in their heights due to cultivation.


Grid Reference:SS 269 209
Map Sheet:SS22SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishHartland
Ecclesiastical ParishHARTLAND

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses: none recorded

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • BARROW CEMETERY (Bronze Age - 2200 BC to 701 BC)

Full description

Historic England, Round Barrow Cemetery 920m southwest of Higher Welsford and Four Barrows on Bursdon Moor, 270m northwest of Summerville Cross (Correspondence). SDV362760.

Scheduled monument consent granted, subject to conditions, concerning removal and replacement of fencing and scrub management.

Ordnance Survey, 2019, MasterMap 2019 (Cartographic). SDV362729.

Tumuli marked.

Historic England, 2019, National Heritage List for England, 1019085 (National Heritage List for England). SDV362730.

Round barrow cemetery 920 metres southwest of Higher Welsford.
Reasons for Designation
Round barrow cemeteries date to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They comprise closely-spaced groups of up to 30 round barrows - rubble or earthen mounds covering single or multiple burials. Most cemeteries developed over a considerable period of time, often many centuries, and in some cases acted as a focus for burials as late as the early medieval period. They exhibit considerable diversity of burial rite, plan and form, frequently including several different types of round barrow, occasionally associated with earlier long barrows. Where large scale investigation has been undertaken around them, contemporary or later "flat" burials between the barrow mounds have often been revealed. Round barrow cemeteries occur across most of lowland Britain, with a marked concentration in Wessex. In some cases, they are clustered around other important contemporary monuments such as henges. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape, whilst their diversity and their longevity as a monument type provide important information on the variety of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving or partly-surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.

The round barrow cemetery 920m south west of Higher Welsford survives comparatively well despite reduction in the heights of the mounds through cultivation, and will contain archaeological evidence relating to the construction and use of the monument as well as environmental evidence concerning the surrounding landscape. The close proximity of other monuments including bowl barrows and a ring cairn gives an indication of the significance of this area in the later prehistoric period.

This monument, which falls into three areas, includes a round barrow cemetery situated on a high upland ridge known as Welsford Moor, overlooking the valley of a tributary to Seckington Water. The monument survives as a group of five bowl barrows arranged in two pairs with a single outlier. The barrows survive as circular mounds of varying size with their approximately 3m wide surrounding outer quarry ditches being preserved as buried features. Within the southernmost pair, the western mound measures 24m in diameter and 0.5m high; and the eastern mound measures 29.7m in diameter and 0.8m high. This barrow's ditch is crossed by a ditched field boundary with stock proof fences. Within the central pair, the western mound measures 16.5m in diameter and 0.4m high, and the eastern mound measures 28.3m in diameter and 1m high. The northernmost mound measures 20m in diameter and 0.4m high. A further bowl barrow lies to the north east, and another bowl barrow and ring cairn to the east; these are the subject of separate schedulings. The field boundary and stock proof fences which cross one of the southern pair of barrows are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features is included.

Date first listed: 26th February. Date of most recent amendment: 29th October 1999

Sources / Further Reading

SDV362729Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2019. MasterMap 2019. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #115022 ]
SDV362730National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2019. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital. 1019085.
SDV362760Correspondence: Historic England. Round Barrow Cemetery 920m southwest of Higher Welsford and Four Barrows on Bursdon Moor, 270m northwest of Summerville Cross. Scheduled Monument Consent Letter. Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV12401Parent of: Bowl Barrow west of Welsford Moor, Hartland (Monument)
MDV7137Parent of: Bowl Barrow west of Welsford Moor, Hartland (Monument)
MDV104Parent of: Bowl Barrow West of Welsford Moor, Hartland (Monument)
MDV105Parent of: Bowl Barrow West of Welsford Moor, Hartland (Monument)
MDV106Parent of: Bowl Barrow West of Welsford Moor, Hartland (Monument)
MDV107Related to: Bowl Barrow 540 metres south west of Higher Welsford, Hartland (Monument)
MDV12406Related to: Bowl Barrow West of Higher Welsford, Hartland (Monument)
MDV108Related to: Ring Cairn 540 metres south west of Higher Welsford, Hartland (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Dec 6 2023 3:14PM