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HER Number:MDV57142
Name:Cursus near Nether Exe Barton

Summary

The remains of a probable cursus monument of Neolithic date was visible on aerial photographs as a cropmark of a long rectilinear ditched enclosure on the west facing slopes north of Rewe, overlooking the Exe Valley.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 941 999
Map Sheet:SX99NW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishNether Exe
DistrictEast Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishNETHER EXE

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: 1041409
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX99NW/232
  • Old SAM Ref: 22340

Monument Type(s) and Dates

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

Full description

National Monuments Record, SX9499, 8-20,23-25,29-33,47,54-56,58-59,61-72,77-78 (Aerial Photograph). SDV126975.

Bayer, O. J., 03/2008, Geophysical Survey of a Cursus, Long Mortuary Enclosure, Ring Ditch and Associated Features at Nether Exe, Devon (Report - Survey). SDV350645.

The feature identified as a cursus monument in aerial photographs, although somewhat obscured by removed field boundaires, is visible as a magnetic anomoly in the central and noth eastern area of Area A. Approximatley 160 metres of this parallel ditched feature, including its squared south western terminus, are visible within field A. As on the aerial photographs this featue becomes less distinct and than fades out completely towards the north-east corner of field A. Where shown clearly the ditch of the cursu is approximately 1-1.5 metres wide. The current survey shows several internal features within the cursus monument.

Devon County Council, 1984, DAP 9319, DAP 9319/4-4A 21-JUN-1984 (O) (Aerial Photograph). SDV359182.

A rectilinear cropmark enclosure was visible.

Devon County Council, 1989, DAP 6771, DAP 6771/11 12-JUL-1989 (OC) (Aerial Photograph). SDV359183.

A rectilinear cropmark enclosure was visible.

Griffith, F. M., 1989, DAP/MJ, 12-13 (Aerial Photograph). SDV286408.

Uglow, J., 1990, Cropmark (Survey July 1990) (Worksheet). SDV321044.

A cropmark of a cursus aligned south-west to north-east and over 50 metres long was surveyed in 1990 in the northern part of the field with a possible long barrow and ring ditch to the south-west. A large chisel arrow head and a scaper were found just to the north of the cursus. Other details: Field survey plan, photos.

Griffith, F. M., 1994, DAP/WV, Devon County Council DAP/WV 13-14 22-JUL-1994 (Aerial Photograph). SDV321070.

A rectilinear cropmark enclosure was visible.

Department of National Heritage, 1995, Cursus, Long Mortuary Enclosure, Ring Ditch and Other Associated Cropmarks 700 Metres East of Nether Exe Barton (Schedule Document). SDV126969.

This monument includes part of a cursus, a long mortuary enclosure, ring ditch and other associated crop marks, representing associated buried archaeological remains, situated on a gentle west-facing slope overlooking the valley of the River Exe. The cursus survives as a clearly defined cropmark in the form of an elongated rectilinear ditch forming an enclosure measuring at least 188 metres long by 23 metres wide. At the south-western end the two long lengths of surviving ditch come together as a rounded terminal. The north-eastern end of this cursus is no longer visible and therefore the original length of the cursus is not known at present. A circular ditched feature with a diameter of 8 metres is visible within the cursus. This may represent a Bronze Age burial monument. Fieldwalking of this monument has revealed a significant number of Neolithic flint implements of a type generally associated with ritual sites. Despite limited damage as a result of ploughing, the cursus, long mortuary enclosure, ring ditch and other associated cropmarks 700 metres east of Netherexe Barton together form an unusual complex of related early prehistoric features. Important information concerning the relationship between the different components of this monument survives and should provide evidence concerning Neolithic ritual activity in western Britain. Other details: Map.

Griffith, F. M., 1996, DAP/ZW, 3 (Aerial Photograph). SDV321043.

Miller, A., 1996, RCHME Aerial Photograph Primary Recording Project (Interpretation). SDV53184.

A rapid examination of air photography suggests the presence of a probable Neolithic cursus site, visible as an elongated rectilinear feature, extending south-west to north-east from SX94089991 to SS94191000 at least, and probably beyond. At the south-west end of the cursus is a probable Neolithic mortuary enclosure.

National Monuments Record, 2009, 1041409 (National Monuments Record Database). SDV126971.

A Neolithic cursus and long mortuary enclosure and a Bronze Age ring ditch and other associated crop marks located 700 metres east of Nether Exe Barton. The cursus survives as a clearly defined cropmark in the form of an elongated rectilinear ditch forming an enclosure measuring at least 188 metres long and 23 metres wide. At the south-western end the two long lengths of surviving ditch come together as a rounded terminal. A circular ditched feature 8 metres in diameter is visible within the cursus and may be a Bronze Age burial monument.The long mortuary survives 18 metres south-west of the cursus as a 60 metres long and 14 metres wide oval shaped enclosure surrounded by a ditch. A gap in the north eastern circuit of the ditch represents an original entrance. The ring ditch survives as a 15 metres circle of enhanced crop growth a short distance to the north-north-west of the mortuary enclosure. This feature represents a quarry ditch from which material was taken to produce a now ploughed out barrow. Surface finds near these monuments include a large number of Neolithic flint implements. Other details: SX99NW 84. Last updated 2005.

English Heritage, 2009, Heritage at Risk Register 2009: South West, 97 (Report - non-specific). SDV342694.

Extensive significant problems, ie under plough, collapse. Principal vulnerability arable ploughing.

English Heritage, 2010, Heritage at Risk Register 2010: South West, 88 (Report - non-specific). SDV344777.

English Heritage, 2011, Heritage at Risk Register 2011: South West, 92 (Report - non-specific). SDV355280.

Extensive significant problems, ie under plough, collapse. Declining. Principal vulnerability arable ploughing.

Hegarty, C. + Knight, S. + Sims, R., 2014-2015, East and Mid Devon River Catchments National Mapping Programme Project (Interpretation). SDV356883.

The remains of a probable cursus monument of Neolithic date was visible on aerial photographs as a cropmark of a long rectilinear ditched enclosure on the west facing slopes north of Rewe, overlooking the Exe Valley.

The cropmark of the ditched boundary 1 to 3 metres wide and defined the squared-off south-western corner an enclosure circa 23 metres wide. The cropmark becomes less visible as it extends up the gentle slope to the north-east, but support the interpretation that the enclosure was at least 140 metres long. No internal features were visible as cropmarks on the aerial photographs available to the survey.
The cursus enclosure was part of a wider ceremonial landscape of probable Neolithic to Bronze Age date including a probable mortuary monument 15 metres to the south-west and several barrows in the immediate area, visible as cropmarks or low earthwork mounds.
Many of the aerial photographs consulted by the survey are copies of DAPs held by the Historic England Archive. In some cases these have been recorded as separate sources. This is because variations in the way the prints have been processed could result in images on which archaeological features are visible to a greater or lesser degree than on the originals.

Devon County Council, 2019, Google Earth Aerial Photograph Pilot Project, GE49 (Aerial Photograph). SDV363341.

(SX 94046 99888) Enclosure north-west of Rewe. Cursus MDV57142 and enclosure MDV57143 visible on the 2018 Google Earth aerial image. Linears and possible round enclosure also visible at the north end of the field cut by the road. Neolithic to Romano-British date.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV126969Schedule Document: Department of National Heritage. 1995. Cursus, Long Mortuary Enclosure, Ring Ditch and Other Associated Cropmarks 700 Metres East of Nether Exe Barton. The Schedule of Monuments. A4 Stapled.
SDV126971National Monuments Record Database: National Monuments Record. 2009. 1041409. National Monuments Record Index. Website.
SDV126975Aerial Photograph: National Monuments Record. SX9499. National Monuments Record Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 8-20,23-25,29-33,47,54-56,58-59,61-72,77-78.
SDV286408Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1989. DAP/MJ. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 12-13.
SDV321043Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1996. DAP/ZW. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 3.
SDV321044Worksheet: Uglow, J.. 1990. Cropmark (Survey July 1990). Devon County Sites and Monuments Register. Worksheet.
SDV321070Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1994. DAP/WV. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). Devon County Council DAP/WV 13-14 22-JUL-1994. [Mapped feature: #95690 ]
SDV342694Report - non-specific: English Heritage. 2009. Heritage at Risk Register 2009: South West. English Heritage Report. A4 Bound +Digital. 97.
SDV344777Report - non-specific: English Heritage. 2010. Heritage at Risk Register 2010: South West. English Heritage Report. Digital. 88.
SDV350645Report - Survey: Bayer, O. J.. 03/2008. Geophysical Survey of a Cursus, Long Mortuary Enclosure, Ring Ditch and Associated Features at Nether Exe, Devon. University of Bristol. A3 Stapled + Digital.
SDV355280Report - non-specific: English Heritage. 2011. Heritage at Risk Register 2011: South West. english Heritage. Digital. 92.
SDV356883Interpretation: Hegarty, C. + Knight, S. + Sims, R.. 2014-2015. East and Mid Devon River Catchments National Mapping Programme Project. AC Archaeology Report. Digital.
Linked documents:1
SDV359182Aerial Photograph: Devon County Council. 1984. DAP 9319. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). DAP 9319/4-4A 21-JUN-1984 (O).
SDV359183Aerial Photograph: Devon County Council. 1989. DAP 6771. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). DAP 6771/11 12-JUL-1989 (OC).
SDV53184Interpretation: Miller, A.. 1996. RCHME Aerial Photograph Primary Recording Project. RCHME Aerial Photograph Primary Recording Project. Map (Paper).

Associated Monuments

MDV103231Parent of: Pit within cursus monument, Nether Exe (Monument)
MDV103227Parent of: Two ring ditches within cursus, Nether Exe (Monument)
MDV103247Related to: Archaeological feature, Nether Exe (Monument)
MDV22902Related to: ARTEFACT SCATTER in the Parish of Nether Exe (Monument)
MDV22903Related to: ARTEFACT SCATTER in the Parish of Nether Exe (Monument)
MDV57143Related to: Mortuary Enclosure near Nether Exe Barton (Monument)
MDV127864Related to: Possible enclosure north-west of Rewe (Monument)
MDV57144Related to: Three Ring Ditches Near Nether Exe Barton (Monument)

Associated Finds

  • FDV196 - ARROWHEAD (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2201 BC)
  • FDV197 - SCRAPER (TOOL) (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2201 BC)

Associated Events

  • EDV6075 - Geophysical Survey of a Cursus, Long Mortuary Enclosure, Ring Ditch and Associated Features at Nether Exe, Devon
  • EDV6530 - The East and Mid-Devon Rivers Catchment NMP project (Ref: ACD613)

Date Last Edited:Mar 19 2020 11:08AM