Ancient Monuments

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Two round cairns 540m ENE of Sourton Tors

A Scheduled Monument in Sourton, Devon

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Latitude: 50.6917 / 50°41'30"N

Longitude: -4.0569 / 4°3'24"W

OS Eastings: 254810.533861

OS Northings: 90021.324625

OS Grid: SX548900

Mapcode National: GBR Q0.5V1B

Mapcode Global: FRA 27D7.TKG

Entry Name: Two round cairns 540m ENE of Sourton Tors

Scheduled Date: 12 May 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007822

English Heritage Legacy ID: 24055

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Sourton

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Okehampton All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


This monument includes two round cairns aligned east-west and situated on a
gentle north east facing slope of Sourton Tors overlooking the valley of the
West Okement River. The western cairn mound measures 4m in diameter and stands
up to 0.6m high. The eastern mound lies 1m from the other cairn, measures 3.3m
in diameter and stands up to 0.3m high. Shallow hollows in the centre of both
mounds suggest partial early excavation or robbing.

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 or robbing, the two round cairns 540m
ENE of Sourton Tors survive comparatively well and contain important
archaeological and environmental information relating to the monument and the
landscape in which it was erected. These cairns form part of a dispersed group
of cairns situated along the western slopes of Corn Ridge.

Source: Historic England


Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX58NW56,
MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard,

Source: Historic England

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