[SS 83674233] Alderman's Barrow (NR) Alderman's Barrow, round barrow. Scheduled. Grinsell's Exford No 1, a bowl barrow 29 paces in diameter and 4.5 ft high. This is a disturbed bowl barrow. It is 1.4m high and has had a hole 0.7m deep dug into its top. (See GPs AO/65/138/7 & 8 Stereo pair). Resurveyed at 1:2500.
The name Alderman's Barrow is a corruption of Owlaman's Barrow, and before that it was known as Osmund's Barrow. (4-5)Exford 1. Alderman's Barrow listed, details as Authy 3. It was named Osmundesburgh and variants in boundary perambulations 1219 - 1301, known as Owlaman's Burrow from 1651 to 1815 and as Alderman's Burrow or Barrow from 1782 onwards. (6)
Alderman's Barrow lies at the north-west end of Almsworthy Common, on the boundary of the parishes of Luccombe, Porlock, Exford and Exmoor. It comprises a turf-covered, circular, flat-topped, earth and stone mound, 24 m in diameter, north-south, by 22 m; it is 1.4 m high. The barrow is largely intact and in good condition, and is now covered in dense heather and bracken.
Several activities have taken place to disturb the original form of the barrow:
1. The creation of a road on its north side has clipped the edge of the barrow.
2. A sharp-sided, irregular pit, some 8 m across and 0.7 m deep has been dug into its centre.
3. There is an area of disturbance in the area of the south-west quadrant, in the form of a narrow trench which follows the base of the barrow scarp.
Both 2 and 3 are probably the result of undocumented antiquarian activity, but may also be the product of robbing. Certainly 3 appears to be an attempt to ascertain whether the barrow has an encircling kerb.
Some 4 m from the barrow on its north-west side is an Antiquity Star put up during WW2 to alert gunnery crews on the nearby ranges to the fact that an archaeological monument existed.
Alderman's Barrow was surveyed during July 1996 as part of RCHME's West Exmoor Project.(7-8)
Aldermans Barrow is a substantial earthwork clearly visible on many of the aerial photographs assessed as part of the Exmoor National Park National Mapping Programme (NMP) survey.
The truncation of the northern edge of the earthwork and the central depression are apparent from the air, but the more subtle damage described above is obscured by the pervasive vegetation cover. (9-10)