Ancient Monuments

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Prehistoric ring cairn 810m NNE of Fernacre Farm

A Scheduled Monument in St. Breward, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.5955 / 50°35'43"N

Longitude: -4.6133 / 4°36'48"W

OS Eastings: 215136.096946

OS Northings: 80573.671973

OS Grid: SX151805

Mapcode National: GBR N7.CW9B

Mapcode Global: FRA 177H.DJR

Entry Name: Prehistoric ring cairn 810m NNE of Fernacre Farm

Scheduled Date: 1 July 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008118

English Heritage Legacy ID: 15221

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: St. Breward

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: St Breward

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a small prehistoric ring cairn, one of a linear group of
cairns situated on the lower south eastern slope of Roughtor in the upper
valley of the De Lank River on north west Bodmin Moor. A medieval tin-miners'
water-course cuts through part of the cairn.
The cairn survives with a circular bank of heaped rubble up to 9.5m in
external diameter. The bank is up to 1.25m wide and 0.2m high incorporating
occasional edge-set facing slabs, up to 0.7m long, along its inner edge. A
medieval tin-miners' water-course, called a leat, passes across the northern
sector of the cairn's bank in its WNW-ESE course to supply water to the tin-
workings along the valley floor. The leat, visible as a slight ditch 1m wide
and 0.2m deep, creates a break 2m wide in the northern part of the cairn bank.
Another 2m wide break in the bank's WSW sector is considered to derive from an
unrecorded antiquarian excavation at this cairn. Rubble removed from both of
these breaks has been heaped onto the cairn bank's north western sector,
creating an ovoid mound measuring 5.75m NE-SW by 5m NW-SE and rising 0.6m
high, with an irregular upper surface with hollows up to 0.3m deep.
This ring cairn is situated in the SSW half of a linear group of nine broadly
contemporary small cairns arranged on an almost straight NNE-SSW alignment
over 280m along a slight crest in the valley side c.150m west of the De Lank
River. The other eight cairns, beyond this monument, also include a second
ring cairn. The linear cairn group is located near other broadly contemporary
settlement sites, field systems, funerary and ritual monuments on the slopes
of Roughtor.

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

Bodmin Moor, the largest of the Cornish granite uplands, has long been
recognised to have exceptional preservation of archaeological remains. The
Moor has been the subject of detailed archaeological survey and is one of the
best recorded upland landscapes in England. The extensive relict landscapes of
prehistoric, medieval and post-medieval date provide direct evidence for human
exploitation of the Moor from the earliest prehistoric period onwards. The
well-preserved and often visible relationship between settlement sites, field
systems, ceremonial and funerary monuments as well as later industrial remains
provides significant insights into successive changes in the pattern of land
use through time. Ring cairns are ritual monuments comprising a circular bank
of stones surrounding a hollow central area. The bank may be kerbed on the
inside, and sometimes on the outside as well, with small uprights or boulders.
Excavation has revealed the presence of pits, some containing cremation
burials, within the central area. Ring cairns are contemporary with other
Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC) funerary monuments on the Moor. Although no precise
figure is available, current evidence indicates that there are only between
250 and 500 known examples of this monument class nationally. As a relatively
rare monument type exhibiting considerable variation in form, a substantial
proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of preservation.

This ring cairn on the south eastern slope of Roughtor has survived
substantially intact. The limited and well defined disturbance from the
miners' leat and the break in its WSW sector have affected little of its bank
and interior deposits. The presence of this ring cairn within a linear group
containing other cairn types and the proximity of this group to other broadly
contemporary ritual, funerary and settlement sites demonstrate the nature and
diversity of ritual practices and their relationship to farming activities
during the Bronze Age.

Source: Historic England


1992, Carter, A/Fletcher, M J /RCHME, 1:2500 AP transcription and field trace for SX 1580,
1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 3521.8,
Carter, A/Fletcher, M J/RCHME, 1:2500 AP transcriptions & field traces: SX 1380-1;1480-2;1580-1,

Source: Historic England

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