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HER Number:MDV8881
Name:Two Bowl Barrows on Beacon Hill

Summary

Two Late Neolithic to Early Bronze Age bowl barrows on Beacon Hill. The eastern barrow, used as a beacon mound in the post-medieval period, produced an Early Bronze Age urn during excavation in 1882.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 857 620
Map Sheet:SX86SE
Civil ParishMarldon
Civil ParishTorbay
DistrictSouth Hams
DistrictTorbay
Ecclesiastical ParishMARLDON

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX86SE/6
  • Old SAM County Ref: 2
  • Old SAM Ref: 33798

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • BOWL BARROW (Late Neolithic to Early Bronze Age - 3000 BC to 1501 BC (Between))

Full description

Worth, R. H., 1902, 21st Report of the Barrow Committee, 123 (Article in Serial). SDV20971.


Worth, R. H., 1905, 24th Report of the Barrow Committee, 88-9 (Article in Serial). SDV64705.

There is evidence that at some date prior to 1882 the barrow was larger, but was subsequently robbed of its earth for agricultural purposes, leaving a more stony core. It is said that when the earth was removed, a circle of stones surrounding the barrow was disclosed, but these were taken away for hedging. Other details: Plate.


Office of Works, 1922, Westerland Beacon, Marldon (Schedule Document). SDV343470.

The barrow does not appear to have been interfered with since its opening (in 1882). Now about 35 feet diameter, rising some 5 feet. In the corner of a ploughed field but has been respected so long by the plough that it is quite safe from being ploughed down. The chief danger is that it might be dug into for material for mending neighbouring hedges.


Dowie, H. G., 1922 - 1926, A Note on the Urn Discovered Near Marldon, 15-17 (Article in Serial). SDV343462.

Find of urn described. Now in Torquay museum.


Dowie, H. G., 1924 - 1925, An Urn From a Barrow on Westerland Beacon, 103 (Article in Serial). SDV343468.


Worth, R. H., 1924 - 1925, An Urn From a Barrow on Westerland Beacon, 73 (Article in Serial). SDV343467.


Couldrey, W. G., 1932, Memories and Antiquities of Paignton, 226-7 (Article in Serial). SDV343465.

Blagdon or Westerland Beacon, 195 metres above sea level. Excavated in 1882 by W. Mudge and his brother Dr. Mudge. A trench cut in the north side found a mound of burnt clay, under which was a heap of stones. The chamber was filled with earth and a small inverted urn which contained the calcined bones of a child, aged 5-6 years. Flint chips and flakes are regularly found around the barrow.


Worth, R. H., 1937, 56th Report of the Barrow Committee, 102 (Article in Serial). SDV20973.

The urn has lost its rim and now stands 4 inches high, base diameter 3.5 inches and bowl diameter 5 inches. The clay is fairly fine but slightly tempered with sand. Externally the colour is brown with a distinct tinge of red. Internally, and especially in the lower half, the clay is blackened. The ornamentation is all in dotted lines. Other details: Plate 20, figure 1.


Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1952 - 1953, SX86SE 9 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV343460.

Site visit 24th November 1952. The barrow has a diameter of 15 metres and a height of 1.1 metres. It has no berm or ditch and is flat-topped. It is covered with lank grass and brambles and is surmounted by an Ordnance Survey trig pillar. Apart from its extreme flatness the barrow bears no apparent signs of mutilation. There were no surface finds.
Site visit 13th January 1953. Although no evidence was obtained in confirmation, it is considered that this barrow may be the site of a medieval beacon. The placename is suggestive and the disturbance seen in the mound in 1882 may be accounted for by the prior presence of a beacon. The land at the summit was acquired by the Admiralty for a flag station in the Napoleonic wars. There is now a small wireless station on the site.


Russell, P., 1955, Fire Beacons in Devon, 286 (Article in Serial). SDV336138.


Department of Environment, 1982, Scheduled Ancient Monuments in Devon (Report - non-specific). SDV343463.

Site visited in 1979 by S. Weston. Barrow damaged at east end by construction of brick building and path. Trig point on flat top. Sited in police compound with wireless aerials etc. Barrow is circa 5-6 metres south-west to north-east and circa 15 metres north-west to south-east, circa 1.5 metres high. Other details: 5448.


Grinsell, L. V., 1983, The Barrows of South and East Devon, 39 (Article in Serial). SDV337013.


Turton, S. D., 1992, Archaeological Assessment of DCC Torbay Ring Road Stage 3, 2 (Report - Assessment). SDV343469.


Devon County Council, 2000, Fire Beacons: Warning Signals across the Countryside (Monograph). SDV320945.


Department for Culture, Media and Sport, 2002, Two Bowl Barrows at Beacon Hill, 120 Metres South of The Beacon (Schedule Document). SDV343461.

Two Late Neolithic to Early Bronze Age bowl barrows, on an east to west alignment, on the crest of a broad ridge, with extensive views in all directions. The western of the two barrows survives as an earth mound 40 metres in diameter and surviving up to 1 metre high. There is no visible quarry ditch, though this will survive as a 5 metre wide buried feature. The eastern barrow is 30 metres in diameter and 1.5 metres high with a flat top and an outer ditch 5 metres wide and 0.2 metres deep, visible on the east side. A slight upcast bank is 2 metres wide and 0.1 metres high. When partially excavated in 1882, an Early Bronze Age urn was found, decorated with dotted lines, containing the burnt bones of a child. The urn was inverted in a rough stone chamber and covered with stones, then earth. The barrow was reduced in size prior to 1882 at which time a ring of stones around it was discovered, but subsequently removed. Flint chips and flakes have been found around the barrow in the past. Signs of burning found in 1882 relate to the barrow's post-medieval use as a beacon mound. A fire is recorded as having been lit here in 1897 to celebrate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee.


English Heritage, 2009, Heritage at Risk Register 2009: South West, 109 (Report - non-specific). SDV342694.

Generally unsatisfactory condition, with major localised problems. Principal vulnerability dumping.


English Heritage, 2010, Heritage at Risk Register 2010: South West, 102 (Report - non-specific). SDV344777.


English Heritage, 2011, Heritage at Risk Register 2011: South West, 106 (Report - non-specific). SDV355280.

Generally unsatisfactory condition, with major localised problems. Principal vulnerability digging.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV20971Article in Serial: Worth, R. H.. 1902. 21st Report of the Barrow Committee. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 34. A5 Paperback + Digital. 123.
SDV20973Article in Serial: Worth, R. H.. 1937. 56th Report of the Barrow Committee. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 69. A4 Unbound. 102.
SDV320945Monograph: Devon County Council. 2000. Fire Beacons: Warning Signals across the Countryside. Fire Beacons: Warning Signals across the Countryside. A4 Unbound.
SDV336138Article in Serial: Russell, P.. 1955. Fire Beacons in Devon. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 87. A5 Hardback. 286.
SDV337013Article in Serial: Grinsell, L. V.. 1983. The Barrows of South and East Devon. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 41. Paperback Volume. 39.
SDV342694Report - non-specific: English Heritage. 2009. Heritage at Risk Register 2009: South West. English Heritage Report. A4 Bound +Digital. 109.
SDV343460Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1952 - 1953. SX86SE 9. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV343461Schedule Document: Department for Culture, Media and Sport. 2002. Two Bowl Barrows at Beacon Hill, 120 Metres South of The Beacon. The Schedule of Monuments. A4 Stapled.
SDV343462Article in Serial: Dowie, H. G.. 1922 - 1926. A Note on the Urn Discovered Near Marldon. Transactions of the Torquay Natural History Society. 4. Unknown. 15-17.
SDV343463Report - non-specific: Department of Environment. 1982. Scheduled Ancient Monuments in Devon. Department of Environment Report. Printout.
SDV343465Article in Serial: Couldrey, W. G.. 1932. Memories and Antiquities of Paignton. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 64. A5 Hardback. 226-7.
SDV343467Article in Serial: Worth, R. H.. 1924 - 1925. An Urn From a Barrow on Westerland Beacon. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 13. Unknown. 73.
SDV343468Article in Serial: Dowie, H. G.. 1924 - 1925. An Urn From a Barrow on Westerland Beacon. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 13. Unknown. 103.
SDV343469Report - Assessment: Turton, S. D.. 1992. Archaeological Assessment of DCC Torbay Ring Road Stage 3. Exeter Museums Archaeological Field Unit Report. 92.63. A4 Stapled + Digital. 2.
SDV343470Schedule Document: Office of Works. 1922. Westerland Beacon, Marldon. The Schedule of Monuments. Foolscap.
SDV344777Report - non-specific: English Heritage. 2010. Heritage at Risk Register 2010: South West. English Heritage Report. Digital. 102.
SDV355280Report - non-specific: English Heritage. 2011. Heritage at Risk Register 2011: South West. english Heritage. Digital. 106.
SDV64705Article in Serial: Worth, R. H.. 1905. 24th Report of the Barrow Committee. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 37. 88-9.

Associated Monuments

MDV123966Related to: Westerland Barrows, Beacon Hill, Totnes Road, Higher Blagdon, Paignton (Monument)

Associated Finds

  • FDV1452 - URN (Early Bronze Age - 2200 BC to 1501 BC)

Associated Events: none recorded


Date Last Edited:Aug 16 2016 3:10PM