Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Round cairn 1060m ENE of Wedlake Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Peter Tavy, Devon

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Latitude: 50.5804 / 50°34'49"N

Longitude: -4.0517 / 4°3'6"W

OS Eastings: 254835.938838

OS Northings: 77639.710769

OS Grid: SX548776

Mapcode National: GBR Q0.DWMP

Mapcode Global: FRA 27DJ.PB4

Entry Name: Round cairn 1060m ENE of Wedlake Farm

Scheduled Date: 18 March 1965

Last Amended: 19 January 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007553

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20384

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Peter Tavy

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


This monument includes a round cairn situated on the summit of a hill
overlooking the valley of the river Walkham. The cairn mound measures 15m in
diameter and stands up to 0.7m high. A shallow hollow in the centre of the
mound is probably the result of a partial excavation by Baring-Gould in 1898.
This work revealed a pit cut into the subsoil containing a burial and
charcoal. A ditch, from which material was quarried during the construction
of the cairn, surrounds the mound. This has become partly infilled over the
years, but survives as a slight earthwork 2m wide and 0.3m deep on the north
side and as a buried feature elsewhere.

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 partial excavation, the round cairn 1060m east-north-east of Wedlake
Farm survives comparatively well and contains archaeological and environmental
evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was
constructed. It is situated midway between two large Bronze Age settlements
and may thus also be a territorial marker.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Baring-Gould, S, 'Devonshire Association Transactions' in Sixth Report of the Dartmoor Exploration Committee, , Vol. 31, (1899), 152-3
Grinsell, L V, 'Devon Archaeological Society Proceedings' in Dartmoor Barrows, , Vol. 36, (1978), 161

Source: Historic England

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