Ancient Monuments

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Barrow cemetery on western slope of Crownhill Down

A Scheduled Monument in Sparkwell, Devon

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Latitude: 50.4215 / 50°25'17"N

Longitude: -4.0189 / 4°1'8"W

OS Eastings: 256677.628006

OS Northings: 59911.681264

OS Grid: SX566599

Mapcode National: GBR Q1.XZDB

Mapcode Global: FRA 27GY.43T

Entry Name: Barrow cemetery on western slope of Crownhill Down

Scheduled Date: 4 April 1986

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1003201

English Heritage Legacy ID: DV 1027

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Sparkwell

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


Round cairn cemetery on Crownhill Down 350m NNW of Wheal Florence.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 18 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 includes a round cairn cemetery situated on the western slopes of the prominent ridge known as Crownhill Down. The cemetery survives as at least eight round cairns, in a linear arrangement in groups of varying numbers. The cairns survive as circular stony mounds which vary in diameter from 6m up to 12.5m and from 0.2m to 0.7m high. Several cairns appear to have been built around earthfast boulders and some shown signs of early partial excavation or robbing. The area around the cairns includes unmarked flat graves and a variety of sub-surface structures associated with ritual and funerary use. The later parish boundary utilises the same ridge.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Round cairn cemeteries date to the Bronze Age. They comprise groups of cairns sited in close proximity to one another and take the form of stone mounds constructed to cover single or multiple burials. Contemporary or later `flat' graves may lie between individual cairns. Most cemeteries developed over a considerable period of time and they can exhibit considerable diversity of burial rite, plan and form. Occasionally they are associated with earlier long cairns. They may also be associated with clearance cairns - heaps of stones cleared from the adjacent ground surface to improve its quality for agricultural activities; these were also being constructed during the Bronze Age, although some examples are of later date. It may be impossible without excavation to distinguish between some burial and clearance cairns. Round cairn cemeteries occur throughout most of upland Britain; their distribution pattern complements that of contemporary lowland earthen round barrows. Often occupying prominent locations they are a major historic element in the modern landscape. Their diversity and longevity as a monument type provide important information on the variety of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period. Despite some partial early excavation or robbing of some of the cairns the round cairn cemetery on Crownhill Down 350m NNW of Wheal Florence survives comparatively well. The continued use of this prominent hill as a territorial marker for parish boundaries of much later date indicates the overall significance of this area in the surrounding landscape as a landmark. The cemetery will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the construction, use, longevity of the cemetery, funerary and ritual practices, social organisation and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England


PastScape Monument No:-438411

Source: Historic England

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