Ancient Monuments

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Two round barrows on Ridding Down

A Scheduled Monument in Cornwood, Devon

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Latitude: 50.4335 / 50°26'0"N

Longitude: -4.0002 / 4°0'0"W

OS Eastings: 258043.0002

OS Northings: 61208.1336

OS Grid: SX580612

Mapcode National: GBR Q3.349L

Mapcode Global: FRA 27HX.5DY

Entry Name: Two round barrows on Ridding Down

Scheduled Date: 14 November 1969

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1002586

English Heritage Legacy ID: DV 721

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Cornwood

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


A ring cairn and round cairn 280m and 430m south of Tolchmoor Gate.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 10 November 2015. The record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

The monument, which falls into two separate areas of protection, includes a ring cairn and round cairn situated on a gentle north facing slope of Ridding Down overlooking the valley of the Tory Brook. The ring cairn, to the north, survives as a circular bank defined by a kerb of stones on its interior edge surrounding a central flat area with a diameter of 15.6m. The bank measures up to 3.2m wide and 0.4m high. The round cairn, to the south, survives as a circular mound measuring 9.5m in diameter and up to 0.9m high. There is a circular depression in the centre of the mound indicating early partial excavation or robbing.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

A ring cairn is a prehistoric ritual monument comprising a circular bank of stones up to 20m in diameter surrounding a hollow central area. The bank may be kerbed on the inside, and sometimes on the outside as well, with small uprights or laid boulders. Ring cairns are found mainly in upland areas of England. They often occur in pairs or small groups of up to four examples. Occasionally they lie within round barrow cemeteries. Ring cairns are interpreted as ritual monuments of Early and Middle Bronze Age date. The exact nature of the rituals concerned is not fully understood, but excavation has revealed pits, some containing burials and others containing charcoal and pottery, taken to indicate feasting activities associated with the burial rituals. Many areas of upland have not yet been surveyed in detail and the number of ring cairns in England is not accurately known. Round cairns are prehistoric funerary monuments dating to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They were constructed as earthen or rubble mounds, the latter predominating in areas of upland Britain where such raw materials were locally available in abundance. Round cairns may cover single or multiple burials and are sometimes surrounded by an outer ditch. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major visual element in the modern landscape. Their considerable variation in form and longevity as a monument type provide important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation.

Despite partial early excavation the ring cairn and round cairn 280m and 430m south of Tolchmoor Gate survive comparatively well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to their construction, relative chronology, funerary and ritual practices and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England


PastScape Monument No:-439312

Source: Historic England

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