Ancient Monuments

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Round cairn and stone hut circle 950m south of Sourton Tors

A Scheduled Monument in Sourton, Devon

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Latitude: 50.6813 / 50°40'52"N

Longitude: -4.0616 / 4°3'41"W

OS Eastings: 254445.224772

OS Northings: 88876.549307

OS Grid: SX544888

Mapcode National: GBR Q0.6DKV

Mapcode Global: FRA 27C8.RGZ

Entry Name: Round cairn and stone hut circle 950m south of Sourton Tors

Scheduled Date: 12 May 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007825

English Heritage Legacy ID: 24058

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Sourton

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


This monument includes a round cairn and stone hut circle situated on a narrow
natural terrace on a steep west-facing slope overlooking west Devon.
The cairn mound measures 16m in diameter and stands up to 0.8m high. A hollow
in the centre of the mound suggests partial early excavation or robbing. The
stone hut circle lies 7.5m ENE of the cairn and survives as a 1m-wide and
0.3m-high rubble bank surrounding an internal area measuring 3.2m long by 2.3m

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.

In addition to the round cairn, the monument includes a stone hut circle.
Stone hut circles and hut circle settlements were the dwelling places of
prehistoric farmers on Dartmoor. They mostly date from the Bronze Age, with
the earliest examples on the Moor in this building tradition dating to about
1700 BC. The stone-based round houses consist of low walls or banks enclosing
a circular floor area; remains of the turf or thatch roof are not preserved.
The huts may occur singly or in small or large groups and may lie in the open
or be enclosed by a bank of earth and stone. Although they are common on the
Moor, their longevity and their relationship with other monument types provide
important information on the diversity of social organisation and farming
practices amongst prehistoric communities. They are particularly
representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving
examples are considered worthy of protection.
Despite evidence of partial excavation or robbing, the round cairn 950m south
of Sourton Tors survives well and contains archaeological and environmental
information relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was
erected. This mound forms part of a dispersed group of cairns situated along
the western slopes of Corn Ridge. The stone hut circle also survives
comparatively well and provides evidence of a direct link between funerary and
domestic activity.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1991), 151
Gibson, A, Single Monument Class Description - Stone Hut Circles,
MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard,

Source: Historic England

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