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Herne's Barrow

Round Barrow(s)

Nearest Town:Minehead (16km NE)
OS Ref (GB):   SS855365 / Sheet: 181
Latitude:51° 6' 56.75" N
Longitude:   3° 38' 9.74" W

Added by CARL

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Visited 12.2.12

Saw this on the O/S map and thought I would check it out as I was heading north towards Porlock stone circle.
It can be found off the B3223 just south of Exford.

There is plenty of room to park at the entrance to a Room Hill reservoir building and the Barrow can be seen from the field gate.
A quick walk across the field and you are there. No public right of access but as no one was about.....................

The Barrow has been well mangled and now only stands about 1 metre high and about 20 metres across. By far the most interesting feature are the 4 stones which stand proud of the Barrow forming a semi-circle. Presumably these are the remains of the retaining stones which once supported the Barrow? Each stone is of a similar size – about 1 foot square. An unexpected bonus. Good views are also to be had.

Near the Barrow is a strange brick building with no door or window. Access is via a metal hatch in the roof. No idea what it is for – perhaps something to do with the reservoir? There is a trig point near the building.

The stones make this Barrow worth a visit when in this part of Exmoor.
Posted by CARL
15th February 2012ce


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Details of barrow on Pastscape

''Herne's Barrow', a mile S.S.W. of Exford Church and immediately S. of the trig. point on Court Hill. The remains consist of an enclosure bank (internal diameter 38ft) from which five stones protrude possiblyrepresenting the retaining wall of a round barrow which has been dug over - but not recently. Visited - 1931 and 1938. This feature at SS 85223697, is a truncated bowl barrow 0.4m high (Exford No. 2). There are four retaining stones just inside the western perimeter of the mound, and their average dimensions are 0.6m by 0.2m by 0.5m high. ( See GPs. AO/65/187/7 & 8).Surveyed at 1:2500. (2-3)
SS 85233700. Exford 2. Bowl barrow 19 paces in diameter 1ft high found by R Rainbird Clarke in 1938. Within the margin of the mound is a retaining circle 35ft diameter of which four stones all forced outwards remain in situ, and one is recumbent. Visited April 1958. Herne's Barrow, mentioned as Ernesburg in 1219 and Hernesbureghe in 1279 boundary perambulations. Centred at SS 85224 36977 are the mutilated remains of a round barrow. It is situated at 391 m above OD on the summit of Court Hill. It lies some 48 m south of an OS triangulation pillar in an enclosed pasture field.
The barrow is visible as a turf-covered earth and stone mound about 17 m in diameter and 0.5 m high. It has been robbed leaving an amorphous and uneven interior and a ragged edge eroded by ploughing, especially in the south-east. Four earthfast stones, each about 0.7 m high, 0.4 m long and 0.2 m thick, are set about 4 m in from the perimeter in the NNe, NW, W and SW. They all lean outwards and are probably the remains of an internal kerb. Tops of other stones, one of them possibly being the fifth stone as noted by Gray (1), can be seen protruding through the turf, especially on the south-east. From the irregular spread of the internal material it would appear to have been a true barrow and not a ring or enclosure bank as suggested by Gray.
The barrow was not shown on the 1888 Ordnance Survey 1st edition mapping (sheet Somerset 45.16), in what was then enclosed rough grassland, and the name `Court Hill' does not appear on this or later OS maps. The barrow was surveyed by the OS Archaeology Division in 1965, and first appears on the 1976 map (OS 1:2500 revision, sheet SS 8569). (6)
The barrow earthwork does not show well on many aerial photographs. Nonetheless, the earthwork is visible on aerial photographs of 1952 and has been transcribed during the Exmoor National Mapping Programme survey. In addition on these images an indication of the disturbance described by the above authorities can be seen. A possible second larger mound is also visible approximately 145 metres to the east. Cropmarks immediately to the south of the mound, visible on aerial photographs of 1985, may also indicate the presence of a circular enclosure of later prehistoric in this area. (7-8)
Chance Posted by Chance
17th December 2014ce