|Broad Down Necropolis - South-East Devon
Broad Down Necropolis is a three-mile long linear barrow cemetry set in the South East Devon countryside. Largely neglected in modern times it's fame is reduced to a series of 'tumuli' marked in the Ordnance Survey map (192).
In its orginal entirety this extensive site would have looked very different, as the number of barrows still identifiable are very few in comparison. There is also the possibility that a number of these barrows may well have had stone circles associated with them (Fox, 1948; see also Burl, 1974).
Also in the area are a number of sites identified as Flint Circles (Farway, and White Cross) although I have not had chance to visit these sites to verify if there are any remains.
The OS co-ordinates for the current extent of the cemetry are:
N - 192.148.974
S - 192.173.933
E - 192.177.946
W - 192.143.962
other sites in the area are:
Hangman's Stone (I will endeavour to post a separate entry)
Site of Seven Stone Circle (Sidmouth)
Older maps show the extent of the destruction of the site as barrows have been ploughed under, and a mysterious stone that is marked on the map and surrounded by barrows (1979 edition of Pathfinder series - SY09/19) seems to have either been moved or destroyed. I have found no mention of this stone elsewhere.
Another old map (thanks to Morfe for URL!) shows a mysterious feature called 'Ring-in-the-Mire' (est. 192.154.958) which appears where barrows appear on present maps. This is in a different location to the Stone Circles of Fox (1948), again, I
have not had the chance to do a bit of field walking to check this out further.
From my very limited investigation into this area, it is clear to me that this was once a very important area of the country.
It seems it has suffered from a lack of recorded history and fame compared to the sites at Winterbourne to the east, Salisbury plain to the north-east and Dartmoor to the west. This little post is my attempt to get it back into the nation's consciousness (at least to some extent).
It is possible to view many of the existing barrows by using the small roads in the area (there are two goods barrows in a triangular field at Roncombe Gate). It is worth noting that all the current sites are on farm-land and fall within the grounds of a number of different farms.
This is an area I am hoping to look at more closely, and so there may a future post with updated information.
Posted by johan
6th September 2000ce