Ancient Monuments

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Two cairns with cists east of Whiteworks tin mine buildings

A Scheduled Monument in Dartmoor Forest, Devon

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Latitude: 50.5233 / 50°31'23"N

Longitude: -3.9359 / 3°56'9"W

OS Eastings: 262868.03159

OS Northings: 71067.017579

OS Grid: SX628710

Mapcode National: GBR Q6.HGRD

Mapcode Global: FRA 27NP.0GW

Entry Name: Two cairns with cists E of Whiteworks tin mine buildings

Scheduled Date: 1 January 1900

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1002592

English Heritage Legacy ID: DV 729

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Dartmoor Forest

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Holne St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


Two round cairns with cists 750m and 925m NNE of Childe’s Tomb and E of Whiteworks tin mine buildings.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 11 November 2015. This 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.

This monument which falls into two areas includes two round cairns with cists situated on the lower north-west facing slopes of Ter Hill overlooking the River Swincombe as it exits Foxtor Mires. The northern cairn survives as a circular stony mound which measures up to 4.6m in diameter and 0.3m high. It contains a cist measuring up to 1.2m long by 0.5m wide with its coverstone displaced to the north east and resting over one corner. This cairn was partially excavated by Mr Burnard in 1904, the soil within the cist was removed but no artefacts were recovered just a stone wedged in its base. The southern cairn survives as a circular stony mound measuring up to 5m in diameter and 0.3m high. This cairn contains a cist which measures up to 1.3m long and 0.6m wide. There is no coverstone and early partial excavations again by Mr Burnard found a broken beer bottle and showed that earlier excavations had removed one side of the cist causing it to collapse.

Further archaeological remains survive within the vicinity of the monument, but these are not included within the scheduling because they have not been formally assessed.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Dartmoor is the largest expanse of open moorland in southern Britain and, because of exceptional conditions of preservation, it is also one of the most complete examples of an upland relict landscape in the whole country. The great wealth and diversity of archaeological remains provide direct evidence for human exploitation of the Moor from the early prehistoric period onwards. The well-preserved and often visible relationship between settlement sites, major land boundaries, trackways, ceremonial and funerary monuments as well as later industrial remains, gives significant insights into successive changes in the pattern of land use through time. 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 amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection. Dartmoor provides one of the best preserved and most dense concentrations of round cairns in south- western Britain. Cists are small rectangular stone structures used for burial purposes and date to the Bronze Age. On Dartmoor they are made up of regular stone slabs forming a box-like structure sometimes topped by a larger coverstone. Despite partial early excavation the two round cairns with cists 750m and 925m NNE of Childe’s Tomb survive comparatively well and will still contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to their construction, relative chronologies, territorial importance, ritual and funerary practices and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, Volume Four – The South-East , (1993), 218-219
PastScape Monument No:-443325 and 443328

Source: Historic England

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