Ancient Monuments

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Round cairn and cist 440m east of White Tor summit

A Scheduled Monument in Peter Tavy, Devon

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Latitude: 50.5898 / 50°35'23"N

Longitude: -4.0541 / 4°3'14"W

OS Eastings: 254694.198326

OS Northings: 78689.806001

OS Grid: SX546786

Mapcode National: GBR Q0.D8GJ

Mapcode Global: FRA 27DH.VT5

Entry Name: Round cairn and cist 440m east of White Tor summit

Scheduled Date: 11 January 1965

Last Amended: 14 January 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007947

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22204

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Peter Tavy

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


This monument includes a round cairn containing a stone cist situated on a
gentle south-east facing slope overlooking the valley of the River Walkham.
The round cairn mound measures 7.5m in diameter and stands up to 0.5m high. A
stone kerb defining the outer edge of the mound is visible on the north-west
and north-east sides and probably survives elsewhere around the circumference
as a buried feature. The interior of the stone cist measures 1.1m long by
0.7m wide by 0.7m deep, is made of greenstone and is complete except for the
western slab. The displaced capstone which now lies close to the eastern side
stone is partly turf-covered and measures 1.3m long by 0.8m wide and 0.5m
The Dartmoor Exploration Committee excavated the cist in 1899, but found no

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, the round cairn and stone cist 440m
east of White Tor summit survive well and contain archaeological and
environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it
was constructed. This area contains abundant archaeological evidence relating
to Prehistoric settlement and land-use and this funerary monument is an
important constituent part of this Bronze Age upland landscape.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1991)
National Archaeological Record, SX57NW6,

Source: Historic England

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