Ancient Monuments

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Cairn 410m south-west of White Tor summit

A Scheduled Monument in Peter Tavy, Devon

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.5863 / 50°35'10"N

Longitude: -4.0636 / 4°3'48"W

OS Eastings: 254014.038492

OS Northings: 78315.924855

OS Grid: SX540783

Mapcode National: GBR Q0.DD2M

Mapcode Global: FRA 27CJ.4QW

Entry Name: Cairn 410m south-west of White Tor summit

Scheduled Date: 4 November 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007429

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20390

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Peter Tavy

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Details

This monument includes a cairn situated on a gentle south-facing slope
overlooking the valley of the Colly Brook. The cairn mound measures 15m long
by 6m wide and stands up to 1m high. A shallow hollow in both the northern and
southern ends of the mound is probably the result of a partial excavation
carried out by the Dartmoor Exploration Committee in 1899. This work revealed
a pit containing ashes and charcoal.
This cairn forms part of a widely dispersed group of at least fourteen cairns
on the southern and eastern slopes of White Tor.

MAP EXTRACT
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,
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.

Despite evidence for partial excavation, the cairn 410m south-west of White
Tor summit survives comparatively well and forms part of a widely dispersed
group of at least fourteen cairns on the southern and eastern slopes of White
Tor. This area contains abundant archaeological evidence relating to
prehistoric settlement and land-use and this funerary monument is therefore an
important constituent part of this Bronze Age upland landscape.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1991), 96
Baring-Gould, S, 'Devonshire Association Transactions' in Sixth Report of the Dartmoor Exploration Committee, , Vol. 31, (1899), 152
Grinsell, L V, 'Devon Archaeological Society Proceedings' in Dartmoor Barrows, , Vol. 36, (1978), 160

Source: Historic England

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