Ancient Monuments

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Ruined cairn on Higher Hare Knap

A Scheduled Monument in Holford, Somerset

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Latitude: 51.1486 / 51°8'54"N

Longitude: -3.2188 / 3°13'7"W

OS Eastings: 314843.5246

OS Northings: 139516.41213

OS Grid: ST148395

Mapcode National: GBR LW.7VS1

Mapcode Global: VH6GY.5D6C

Entry Name: Ruined cairn on Higher Hare Knap

Scheduled Date: 1 June 1976

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1006144

English Heritage Legacy ID: SO 417

County: Somerset

Civil Parish: Holford

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset


Platform cairn on Higher Hare Knap.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 25 August 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 platform cairn situated on the northern summit of the prominent ridge called Higher Hare Knap which forms the watershed between the valleys of the Holford Combe and Somerton Combe. The cairn survives as a flat topped circular stony mound measuring up to 21m in diameter and 1m high. On its western side is a small hollow with an associated spoil heap and to the north east a modern ‘visitors’ cairn’ has been established.

Further archaeological remains in the vicinity are not included because they have not been formally assessed.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

The area of the Quantock Hills, although small in extent, is one of the few remaining expanses of open moorland in southern Britain. Its archaeological importance lies in the existence of a landscape displaying examples of monuments tracing the exploitation of the hills from the Bronze Age onwards.

Well-preserved monuments from the Bronze Age and Iron Age, including round barrows, cairns, settlements, hillforts and a track-way, as well as later industrial remains, give insights into changes in the pattern of land use on the hills through time. These earthwork features are one of the key components of the Quantocks' broader landscape character. Platform cairns are funerary monuments covering single or multiple burials and dating to the Early Bronze Age (c.2000-1600 BC). They were constructed as low flat-topped mounds of stone rubble up to 40m in external diameter. Some examples have other features, including peripheral banks and internal mounds, constructed on this platform. A kerb of edge-set stones sometimes bounds the edges of the platform, bank or mound, or all three. Platform cairns occur as isolated monuments, in small groups, or in cairn cemeteries. In the latter instances they are normally found alongside cairns of other types. Although no precise figure is available, current evidence indicates that there are fewer than 250 known examples of this monument class nationally. They are a rare monument type exhibiting considerable variation in form and provide important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. Twelve ‘round’ cairns have been recorded on the Quantocks, although the original figure is likely to have been higher. Despite some partial early excavation and the construction of a later cairn, the platform cairn on Higher Hare Knap survives well, is of a rare type and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, longevity, territorial significance, social organisation, funerary and ritual practices and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England


PastScape Monument No:-189581

Source: Historic England

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