Ancient Monuments

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Twelve cairns, a lynchet and a boundary bank forming part of a cairnfield 440m south-west of Raddick Hill summit

A Scheduled Monument in Walkhampton, Devon

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Latitude: 50.5199 / 50°31'11"N

Longitude: -4.0108 / 4°0'38"W

OS Eastings: 257547.902398

OS Northings: 70828.435055

OS Grid: SX575708

Mapcode National: GBR Q2.XML1

Mapcode Global: FRA 27HP.79T

Entry Name: Twelve cairns, a lynchet and a boundary bank forming part of a cairnfield 440m south-west of Raddick Hill summit

Scheduled Date: 9 November 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007425

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22292

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Walkhampton

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


This monument includes twelve cairns, a lynchet, a boundary bank and two
field-plots forming part of a cairnfield on a gentle south-west facing slope
of Raddick Hill overlooking the valley of the River Meavy. The mounds are
scattered around the edge of two small fields, which are defined largely by
the location of the mounds. A lynchet measuring 42m long, 2m wide and
standing up to 0.4m high divides the smaller eastern field from the more
substantial western one. The eastern field measures 28m north to south by 35m
east to west and the western field measures 84m north to south by 68m east to
west. A length of rubble bank measuring 1.5m wide and 0.4m high, lying on the
southern edge of the monument is a land division boundary, though it is not
necessarily contemporary with the cairnfield.
Nine of the mounds are sub-circular in shape and these range in size from 3m
to 6.3m in diameter and stand between 0.3m and 0.8m high. The remainder are
ovoid in shape, and these range between 4m and 8.5m long, 2.3m to 6m wide and
stand between 0.4m and 0.9m high. The average height of the mounds is 0.56m.
Three cairns have a shallow hollow cut into the body of the mound, suggesting
robbing or partial excavation. Some of the mounds are probably associated
with funerary remains, but the majority most likely represent stone clearance
connected with cultivation of the area.
This monument forms part of a wider cairnfield, comprising seventeen mounds,
two lengths of boundary bank and a lynchet.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

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,
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. Cairnfields are concentrations of three or
more cairns sited within close proximity to one another; they may consist of
burial cairns or cairns built with stone cleared from the land surface
(clearance cairns). Round funerary cairns were constructed during the Bronze
Age (c.2000-700 BC) and consisted of earthen or rubble mounds, sometimes
ditched, which covered single or multiple burials. Often occupying prominent
locations, they are a major visual element in the modern landscape. The
considerable variation in the size of cairnfields and their 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.

Despite partial excavation of three of the mounds, the cairnfield on the
south-west slopes of Raddick Hill survives well as an example of Bronze Age
fields defined by the cairns which resulted from field clearance. Such
examples are rare and provide a valuable insight into Bronze Age agricultural

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, 'Devon Archaeological Society Proceedings' in Dartmoor Barrows, , Vol. 36, (1978), 174
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX57SE85,
Raymond, F, Single Monument Class Description - Cairnfields, (1987)

Source: Historic England

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