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HER Number:MDV5592
Name:Great Halwill Barrow

Summary

One of three Prehistoric bowl barrows near Halwill Junction which has been cut into by the railway and a gravel pit. Partially excavated in the late 19th century at which time an amber ornament, pottery sherds and pieces of calcined bone were found.

Location

Grid Reference:SS 443 002
Map Sheet:SS40SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishHalwill
DistrictTorridge
Ecclesiastical ParishHALWILL

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: 32801
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS40SW/10
  • Old SAM County Ref: 71
  • Old SAM Ref: 28643
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SS40SW10

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • BOWL BARROW (Bronze Age - 2200 BC to 701 BC (Between))

Full description

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

Great Halwill Barrow (Tumulus) marked.


Worth, R. N., 1896, 15th Report of the Barrow Committee, 86 (Article in Serial). SDV17612.

The barrow is in a field known as Burrow Park Tolly, and lies close to the road leading from Halwill railway station to the manor house. A quarry has been opened (now disused) on the east side of the barrow and has bitten a considerable piece out of the circumference, but without in any way, touching the central portion of the monument which stands 1.5 metres high in the centre above ground level. After clearing the opening nearest the quarry down to the level of the subsoil, a trench was driven 6.1 metres long, 3.6 metres wide and 1.5 metres deep. This disclosed a platform of small flat stones, 3 metres long, 1.8 metres wide, and 0.3 metres thick, resting on the earth. It was strewn with pieces of wood charcoal of a very fibrous nature, and resembling the kind of charcoal to be obtained from furze and covered with wood ashes. The stones of this platform showed signs of firing. Close to this platform was a pit, 1.4 metres by 1 metre and 1.2 metres deep, dug out of the subsoil and full of earth mixed with fragments of calcined animal bones. The barrow was made of stiff clay and some of this, near the platform, was burnt so hard as to resemble pottery. Nothing more was found, either around the platform or in the pit. Careful scrutiny of the face of the western cutting yielded an amber ornament, fragments of pottery and a few small pieces of calcined bones, 0.38 metres below the surface, whilst close to the subsoil, more pottery and bones were found. The barrow presented the appearance of having been made with layers of clay, on each of which a fire had been kindled, then another layer of clay and another fire, until 0.23 metres below the surface of the top of the barrow, the last fire was made, and this is represented by a band of fibrous wood charcoal, 2.1 metres long, and 0.07- 0.1 metres thick, covering apparently the whole of the summit of the mound. No interment was found. The bone fragments were found to be of animal origin. The pottery was found similar to sepulchral specimens associated with the Late Neolithic or Early Bronze Age. It is hand made, 0.023 metres thick, black on the inner surface. The paste is well made, hand burnt, of the clay of the district with very little sand to strengthen it. The amber ornament is a pear shaped pendant 0.02 metres long. The perforated top is missing. Near the barrows is the site of the chapel with the holy well which gives its name to the parish, but no remains of the buildings are preserved.


Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1950 - 1978, SS40SW8, SS40SW 8. (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV17615.

Bowl barrow known as Great Halwill Barrow is intact on east and south east. Mutilated on north by a quarry, and on west and south west by a railway cutting. Original diameter 29 metres; present height 2.5 metres. No ditch visible.


Ministry of Works, 1958, 3 Barrows near Halwill Junction (Schedule Document). SDV339112.

One of three barrows near Halwill Junction. Barrow A: Great Halwill barrow with a diameter of 80 feet (24.38 metres) and a height of 10 feet (3.05 metres). Cut into on the west by the railway and on the north by the gravel pit but otherwise intact. None of these mounds appear to have been opened. Other details: Monument 71.


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

Under grass. Diameter 30 paces, height 10 feet.


Devon Committee for Rescue Archaeology, 1979 - 1981, North Devon Barrow Survey, DCRA ND92 (Archive - Survey). SDV341310.

Site visit 27th September 1979. Remains of a barrow surviving in good condition. 29.8 metres diameter and 2.81 metres high.


Timms, S. C., 1981, Barrow at The Lodge (Personal Comment). SDV70.

Great Halwill Barrow lies on the edge of a proposed redevelopment area at Halwill Junction but will not be adversely affected.


Bayer, O. J., 1996, Barrows in the Torridge District of North West Devon: A Study in Distribution and Location, Halwill 4 (Undergraduate Dissertation). SDV319515.


Department for Culture, Media and Sport, 1997, Three Barrows including Great Halwill Barrow north of Halwill Junction (Schedule Document). SDV339111.

The monument, which falls into three areas of protection, includes three bowl barrows located on a high ridge which forms the watershed between the tributaries of the River Carey to the west, and those of the River Torridge to the east. Most spurs along the ridges in this area are rich in barrows, which indicates that the area was the focus of ritual activity in the past. The three barrows are aligned west-south-west to east-north-east. The westernmost barrow, which is known as Great Halwill Barrow, survives as a circular mound measuring 24 metres in diameter and 3 metres high. The mound itself lies immediately adjacent to a disused railway cutting which has partly cut its western and southwestern sides. The barrow was partly excavated by Worth in the 1890s and this work revealed several layers of burnt clay, some fragments of calcined animal bone, Late Neolithic to Early Bronze Age pottery, charcoal and an amber pendant. Surrounding all three mounds, though now cut away on the western side of the westernmost mound, were ditches from which material was quarried during their construction. These have become infilled over the years but now survive as buried features 2 metres wide. All fences and fenceposts are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath is included. Other details: Monument 28643.


Exeter Archaeology, 2004, Summary Archaeological Assessment of the Proposed Site of the new Primary School, Halwill Junction, 5 (Report - Assessment). SDV1968.


National Monuments Record, 2011, 32801 (National Monuments Record Database). SDV346415.

Great Halwill Barrow is a bowl barrow on a high ridge between the tributaries of the River Carey to the west and the River Torridge to the east. The barrow survives as a circular mound measuring 24 metres in diameter and 3 metres high. The mound itself lies immediately adjacent to a disused railway cutting which has partly cut its western and south-western sides. The barrow was partly excavated in the 19th century.


Ordnance Survey, 2011, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV346129.

'Great Halwill Barrow' shown on modern mapping as semi-circular feature on the eastern side of the old railway.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV17612Article in Serial: Worth, R. N.. 1896. 15th Report of the Barrow Committee. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 28. A5 Hardback. 86.
SDV17615Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1950 - 1978. SS40SW8. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index. SS40SW 8..
SDV1968Report - Assessment: Exeter Archaeology. 2004. Summary Archaeological Assessment of the Proposed Site of the new Primary School, Halwill Junction. Exeter Archaeology Report. 04.02. A4 Stapled + Digital. 5.
SDV319515Undergraduate Dissertation: Bayer, O. J.. 1996. Barrows in the Torridge District of North West Devon: A Study in Distribution and Location. University of Leicester Dissertation. A4 Stapled + Digital. Halwill 4.
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV339111Schedule Document: Department for Culture, Media and Sport. 1997. Three Barrows including Great Halwill Barrow north of Halwill Junction. The Schedule of Monuments. A4 Stapled.
SDV339112Schedule Document: Ministry of Works. 1958. 3 Barrows near Halwill Junction. The Schedule of Monuments. Foolscap.
SDV341310Archive - Survey: Devon Committee for Rescue Archaeology. 1979 - 1981. North Devon Barrow Survey. Devon Barrow Survey. Digital + Mixed Archive Material. DCRA ND92.
SDV346129Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2011. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #95381 ]
SDV346415National Monuments Record Database: National Monuments Record. 2011. 32801. National Monuments Record Database. Website.
SDV70Personal Comment: Timms, S. C.. 1981. Barrow at The Lodge.
SDV7849Article in Serial: Grinsell, L. V.. 1970. The Barrows of North Devon. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 28. A5 Paperback. 120.

Associated Monuments

MDV5629Related to: Barrow to north-east of Halwill Junction (Monument)
MDV5630Related to: Barrow to north-east of Halwill Junction (Monument)
MDV12447Related to: Bowl Barrow to south-west of Otterburn Farm, Halwill (Monument)

Associated Finds

  • FDV1763 - ORNAMENT (Late Neolithic to Middle Bronze Age - 3000 BC to 1500 BC)
  • FDV1762 - POT (Late Neolithic to Middle Bronze Age - 3000 BC to 1500 BC)

Associated Events

  • EDV4415 - Devon Barrow Survey

Date Last Edited:Sep 1 2014 11:43AM