Ancient Monuments

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Two cairns forming part of the cairnfield on the western slope of White Hill

A Scheduled Monument in Lydford, Devon

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Latitude: 50.6353 / 50°38'7"N

Longitude: -4.0857 / 4°5'8"W

OS Eastings: 252603.53433

OS Northings: 83808.253538

OS Grid: SX526838

Mapcode National: GBR NZ.96DS

Mapcode Global: FRA 27BD.840

Entry Name: Two cairns forming part of the cairnfield on the western slope of White Hill

Scheduled Date: 18 March 1965

Last Amended: 29 January 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007543

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20366

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Lydford

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


This monument includes two cairns aligned east to west and situated on a
gentle west facing slope overlooking Lydford village. The western cairn mound
is ovoid in shape, is orientated east to west and measures 4m long, 2.7m wide
and stands up to 0.25m high. The eastern cairn mound is sub-circular in
shape, measures 5m in diameter and stands up to 0.55m high. These cairns form
part of a cairnfield, including twenty-six mounds 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 evidence for partial excavation of some of the cairns, the cairnfield
on the western slope of White Hill, to which these cairns belong, survives
well and contains archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the
monument and the landscape in which it was constructed. The lynchet and the
field defined by the clearance cairns provide a valuable insight into Bronze
Age agricultural activity.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Fleming, A, 'Devon Archaeological Society Proceedings' in The Cairnfields of North-West Dartmoor, , Vol. 38, (1980), 9 - 12
Raymond, F, Single Monument Class Description - Cairnfields, (1987)

Source: Historic England

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