Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Round cairn 470m south east of Sourton Tors

A Scheduled Monument in Sourton, Devon

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Latitude: 50.6864 / 50°41'10"N

Longitude: -4.0596 / 4°3'34"W

OS Eastings: 254603.082771

OS Northings: 89438.004154

OS Grid: SX546894

Mapcode National: GBR Q0.612W

Mapcode Global: FRA 27D8.68C

Entry Name: Round cairn 470m south east of Sourton Tors

Scheduled Date: 1 November 1966

Last Amended: 14 June 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007824

English Heritage Legacy ID: 24057

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Sourton

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


This monument includes a round cairn situated on a gentle west-facing slope
overlooking Bridestowe village. The cairn mound is flat-topped, measures 9.7m
in diameter and stands up to 0.6m high. A number of shallow hollows in the
surface of the mound 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 robbing, the round cairn 470m south east of
Sourton Tors survives comparatively well and contains archaeological and
environmental information relating to the monument and the landscape in
which it was erected. This cairn is one of a dispersed group of cairns
situated along the western slopes of Corn Ridge.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1991), 151
Grinsell, L V, 'Devon Archaeological Society Proceedings' in Dartmoor Barrows, , Vol. 36, (1978), 133
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX58NW3,
MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard,
Robinson, R., English Heritage Records Office SAM Report Site No. 10625, (1982)
Title: Sheet SX 58 NW Scale 1:10000
Source Date: 1981

Source: Historic England

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