Ancient Monuments

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Prehistoric round cairn 865m NNE of Fernacre Farm

A Scheduled Monument in St. Breward, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.596 / 50°35'45"N

Longitude: -4.6131 / 4°36'47"W

OS Eastings: 215150.821296

OS Northings: 80619.757145

OS Grid: SX151806

Mapcode National: GBR N7.CWBH

Mapcode Global: FRA 177H.DLR

Entry Name: Prehistoric round cairn 865m NNE of Fernacre Farm

Scheduled Date: 1 July 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008119

English Heritage Legacy ID: 15222

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 round 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 disused post-medieval
hollowed routeway passes by the north western edge of the cairn.
The cairn survives with a circular mound of heaped rubble up to 4.5m in
diameter and 0.4m high. A large flat slab, 1.9m long and 0.75m wide, lies on
the north side of the mound. An unrecorded antiquarian excavation has produced
a hollow up to 0.3m deep extending towards the centre from the mound's north
eastern periphery, revealing two boulders, up to 0.6m long, buried at the
centre. These boulders and the flat slab are considered to derive from a
central box-like burial structure, called a cist.
A disused, relatively recent routeway passes SW-NE by the cairn, touching its
mound's north western edge. This routeway, visible as a turf-covered, flat-
bottomed hollow 3m wide and 0.5m deep, is one of many disused former cart-
tracks across the Moor.
This round cairn is situated near the centre of a linear group of nine broadly
contemporary small cairns arranged in 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 two ring
cairns. 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. Round cairns are funerary monuments covering single or
multiple burials and dating to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They were
constructed as mounds of earth and stone rubble up to 40m in external diameter
but usually considerably smaller; a kerb of edge-set stones sometimes bounds
the edges of the mound. Burials were placed in small pits, or on occasion
within a box-like structure of stone slabs called a cist, let into the old
ground surface or dug into the body of the cairn. Round cairns can occur as
isolated monuments, in small groups or in larger cemeteries. Their
considerable variation in form and longevity as a monument type provides
important information on the diversity of beliefs, burial practices and social
organisation in the Bronze Age. They are particularly representative of their
period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered
worthy of preservation.

This round cairn on the south eastern slope of Roughtor has survived
substantially intact with only limited disturbance from the antiquarian
excavation. The presence of this cairn within a linear group containing other
cairn types and the proximity of the group to other broadly contemporary
ritual, funerary and settlement sites demonstrates 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,
consulted 1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 3521.5,
consulted 1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 3521.7,

Source: Historic England

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