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HER Number:MDV4458
Name:Earthworks, Northam


Possible site of three Prehistoric barrows in a field formerly known as Greater Borough Field. Two mounds and a possible bank and ditch are visible on aerial photographs between 1953 and 2007, but further work would be required for confident interpretation as the mounds are similar to geological formations in this area.


Grid Reference:SS 450 295
Map Sheet:SS42NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishNortham
Ecclesiastical ParishNORTHAM

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS42NE/23

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • BARROW (Prehistoric - 698000 BC to 42 AD (Between))

Full description

Royal Air Force, 1953, NMR RAF/540/1141 (F22), NMR RAF/540/1141 F22 0043-0044 06-JUN-1953 (Aerial Photograph). SDV350008.

Two mounds are visible as earthworks, with a slight bank on the west side and a possible cropmark ditch on the north side.

Haswell, B. W., 1977, Barrows (Worksheet). SDV358905.

Timms, S. C., 1977, Earthworks (Worksheet). SDV358906.

Unknown, 1977, Untitled Source (Worksheet). SDV338680.

In a field on the edge of a built up area, there are various surface remains consisting largely of 2 mounds and a bank. The field is now known as Humpty Dumpty Field (Tithe Map Apportionment names it Higher Borough Field). The remains appear to be man made. Development in the field is likely; at present only planning technicalities stand in the way of this, but archaeological interest may not be welcome.

Haswell, B. W., 1977, Untitled Source (Worksheet). SDV338682.

Miles + Silvester, 1978, Devon Committee for Rescue Archaeology development file (Personal Comment). SDV338687.

Personal Communication. Miles feels that these mounds might be natural but Williams of the Institute of Geological Sciences considers them man-made.

Timms, S. C., 1978, Humpty Dumpty Field, Northam (Ground Photograph). SDV358904.

Timms, S. C., 1978, Untitled Source, Film 261 (Personal Comment). SDV338685.

Personal Communication. Field contains two very large mounds with a saddle of land between them. No traces of any ditch. In absence of further information they should be regarded as possible Prehistoric features. Other details: Photos in Conservation Collection.

Ordnance Survey, 1979, OS/79010, NMR OS/79010 007-008 16-APR-1979 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349083.

Two linear marks are visible around the area of the mounds but they are likely to be superficial and agricultural in origin.

Haswell, B. W., 1979, Twin round barrows (Worksheet). SDV338683.

A sketch plan made showing the site as three barrows. The fields have 'Burrow' place names on the Tithe Map Apportionment. Other details: Plan.

Unknown, 1980, Doubt about Roman remains at Humpty Dumpty Hill (Article in Serial). SDV338681.

French, A. M., 1980, 'Little likelihood' of Roman station (Article in Serial). SDV338684.

Timms, S. C., 1980, Untitled Source (Personal Comment). SDV338686.

Personal Communication. Site meeting with officers of Torridge District Council to agree an area to be safeguarded as public open space in the detailed design of new development. Area includes both mounds. Starting date for development unknown.

Exeter Archaeology, 2006, Archaeological Assessment of the Appledore Fish Dock, Appledore, Northam, 2 (Report - Assessment). SDV338648.

Next Perspectives, 2007, Next Perspectives PGA Tile Ref:, Next Perspectives PGA Tile Ref: SS4529 04-MAY-2007 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349344.

A dark linear nmark is visible but it is parallel to the edge of the field and likely to be agricultural in origin.

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

Two mounds are visible as earthworks or natural geological features on aerial photographs between 1953 and 2007. A curvilinear bank is visible as an earthwork on the west side, and a possible curvilinear ditch around the northern base of the mounds is visible as a cropmark in the 1950s aerial photographs. However the mounds cannot be confidently interpreted as earthworks from the aerial photographic evidence alone, and their form is similar to other natural features in the vicinity. Curvilinear marks visible on aerial photographs taken in 1979 and 2007 partly encircling the mounds are likely to be of modern agricultural origin. Geophysical survey here could help to ascertain the character and date of the mounds and verify the presence of external banks or ditches.

Ordnance Survey, 2012, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV348725.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV338648Report - Assessment: Exeter Archaeology. 2006. Archaeological Assessment of the Appledore Fish Dock, Appledore, Northam. Exeter Archaeology Report. 06.103. A4 Stapled + Digital. 2.
SDV338680Worksheet: Unknown. 1977. Devon Committee for Rescue Archaeology Worksheet. Worksheet + Digital.
SDV338681Article in Serial: Unknown. 1980. Doubt about Roman remains at Humpty Dumpty Hill. Bideford Gazette. Newspaper/Magazine Cutting + Digital.
SDV338682Worksheet: Haswell, B. W.. 1977. Worksheet.
SDV338683Worksheet: Haswell, B. W.. 1979. Twin round barrows. Worksheet + Digital.
SDV338684Article in Serial: French, A. M.. 1980. 'Little likelihood' of Roman station. Bideford Gazette. Newspaper/Magazine Cutting + Digital.
SDV338685Personal Comment: Timms, S. C.. 1978. Film 261.
SDV338686Personal Comment: Timms, S. C.. 1980.
SDV338687Personal Comment: Miles + Silvester. 1978. Devon Committee for Rescue Archaeology development file. Devon Committee for Rescue Archaeology Report. Unknown.
SDV348725Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2012. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #92237 ]
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
SDV349083Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1979. OS/79010. Ordnance Survey Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). NMR OS/79010 007-008 16-APR-1979.
SDV349344Aerial Photograph: Next Perspectives. 2007. Next Perspectives PGA Tile Ref:. Pan Government Agreement Aerial Photographs. Digital. Next Perspectives PGA Tile Ref: SS4529 04-MAY-2007.
SDV350008Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1953. NMR RAF/540/1141 (F22). Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). NMR RAF/540/1141 F22 0043-0044 06-JUN-1953.
SDV358904Ground Photograph: Timms, S. C.. 1978. Humpty Dumpty Field, Northam. Conservation Section Photograph Collection. Photograph (Paper) + Digital.
SDV358905Worksheet: Haswell, B. W.. 1977. Barrows. Worksheet + Digital.
SDV358906Worksheet: Timms, S. C.. 1977. Earthworks. Worksheet + Digital.

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV4241 - Appledore Fish Dock, Northam
  • EDV6132 - North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty NMP Project

Date Last Edited:Aug 10 2015 11:29AM