Monument record BGL 001 - The Devil's Ring, Brightwell Heath (BA)

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A descheduled Disc Barrow of Bronze Age date is visible as an earthwork and cropmark on Brightwell Heath, Brightwell parish, on aerial photographs from the late 1920s onwards.


Grid reference Centred TM 2410 4437 (50m by 50m)
Map sheet TM24SW


Type and Period (2)

Full Description

The Devil's Ring - disc barrow (site of) (S1).
1935: Circular ringwork with pronounced bank but vague outer ditch. Central mound slightly lower than bank. Apparently a berm or platform between mound and outer bank. Ditch 9 feet wide, 6 inches deep; bank 27 feet wide, 3 feet high; mound diameter 39 feet, 2 feet high; berm of 9 feet between bank and mound. Bank 120 feet diameter (S2).
1953: Central, much disturbed, mound 13.1m (43 feet) x 11.9m (39 feet) and 0.45m (1 foot 6 inches) high, occupying a plateau 18.9m (62 feet) x 17.7m (58 feet). This was surrounded by a concentric bank 30.5m (100 feet) in diameter (from crest to crest). Bank eroded and spread, 10.1m (33 feet) wide and a maximum of 1.1m (3 feet 6 inches) high. No surface indications of a ditch. Excavated 1953 by R Gilyard-Beer for the Ministry of Works, in advance of its destruction for farming purposes.
Excavation showed that the mound covered a pit 0.61m x 0.48m and 0.23m deep, which contained a few fragments of burnt bone. Near the edge of the mound a shallow hollow, 0.3m in diameter and 0.07m deep, contained the remains of an adult cremation. Two areas of burning were found under the bank - the largest was 1.52m x 1.06m, the other 0.45m in diameter. Also under the bank was a small collared urn, mouth upwards but empty. The ditch lay outside the bank, circa 42m in diameter, a maximum of 2.74m wide and 1.06m deep. Fragments of an Iron Age pot were found in the upper fill (S3)(R1).
1962: An almost imperceptible rise of ground marks the site of this barrow (S4).
1977: Not visible (S5).
1989 & 1992: Visible as cropmark (S6).
1994: Descheduled (S7)
A Disc Barrow of Bronze Age date is visible as an earthwork and cropmark on Brightwell Heath, Brightwell parish, on aerial photographs from the 1930s onwards, centred on circa TM241443. It is most clearly visible on S1, but it was not possible to use this earliest images for transcription due to the absence of suitable control. The transcription was obtained from later images (S8, S9) where it was visible as a more eroded earthwork and cropmark. The site has been transcribed as fully as possible but the control problems mean accuracy is relatively poor. The outer ditch is only partially visible. Little detail can be added to the record. (S1, S8, S9)
Formerly scheduled.

Sources/Archives (14)

  • <R1> (No record type): NMR, Excavation archive, Gilyard-Beer excavation, 1953, microfiche.
  • <M1> Unpublished document: Suffolk Archaeological Service. Parish file. Parish File: sketch profile.
  • <S1> Photograph: National Monuments Record. Air Photograph. NMR, AP TM 2344/1/ 99D 139V, Crawford Collection 6827.
  • <M2> (No record type): Barrow Survey:.
  • <S2> (No record type): Grinsell L V, Notes on Suffolk barrows, Ms in Norwich Castle Museum.
  • <M3> (No record type): Excavation archive: publication original plans.
  • <S3> (No record type): Gilyard-Beer R, The Devil's Ring, Brightwell Heath, PSIA 35, (4), 1984, 247-278.
  • <S4> Index: OS. OS Card. OS, card TM24SW2.
  • <M4> Photograph: National Monuments Record. Air Photograph. AP: NMR TM 2344/1 99D 139V, Crawford Collection 6827.
  • <S5> (No record type): SAU, Martin E, 1977.
  • <S6> (No record type): OS, APs, 89 045 103 & 92 363 168, 1989 & 1992.
  • <S7> (No record type): English Heritage, SAM file 75 No 90727.
  • <S8> Photograph: RAF. Air Photograph. RAF CPE/UK/1937 4221 18-JAN-1947.
  • <S9> Photograph: OS, AP. OS OS/92363 168-9 27-JUN-1992.

Finds (1)

Protected Status/Designation

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (5)

Record last edited

Mar 6 2012 12:12PM

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