Ancient Monuments

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Prehistoric linear boundary and adjacent round cairn 938m north-west of Wardbrook Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Linkinhorne, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.538 / 50°32'16"N

Longitude: -4.4741 / 4°28'26"W

OS Eastings: 224778.211859

OS Northings: 73835.401307

OS Grid: SX247738

Mapcode National: GBR NF.HGM2

Mapcode Global: FRA 17JM.SYD

Entry Name: Prehistoric linear boundary and adjacent round cairn 938m north-west of Wardbrook Farm

Scheduled Date: 7 August 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008845

English Heritage Legacy ID: 15129

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Linkinhorne

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Linkinhorne

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a Prehistoric linear boundary wall forming a major land
division near other broadly contemporary linear boundaries, field systems, hut
circle settlements and cairns on the western slope of the Langstone Downs on
SE Bodmin Moor. A small round cairn is situated adjacent to the upper section
of the boundary. The monument is divided into three separate areas.
The linear boundary survives as a wall of heaped rubble and boulders, up to 2m
wide and 0.5m high, incorporating occasional facing stones and end-set slabs,
called orthostats, rising to a height of 0.75m. The boundary extends from an
area of uncleared boulder rubble at the edge of the valley floor from which
it follows a general alignment ENE, directly uphill, across the western slope
of the Downs for 300m, reaching the edge of the gentler slope of the summit
dome, from where it turns ESE, extending as a visible feature for a further
32m and covered by a thick peaty turf. Beyond this point, two more lengths of
this boundary on the same alignment survive above the peat: after a 61m gap, a
19m length is visible, and 22m beyond that, a further 11m survives; this
latter portion comprises almost contiguous orthostats to a height of 0.75m
above the wall's almost, buried rubble core. The boundary includes numerous
minor indents in its course. The largest of these irregularities, 35m from
the wall's lower end, has a short length of rubble walling cutting off the
rounded point of the indent.
The round cairn is centred 5m south of the boundary wall near the point where
it alters course on reaching the summit dome. The cairn survives as a small
circular mound of heaped rubble, 4m in diameter and 0.3m high.
The linear boundary is one of three similar Prehistoric walls, the other two
being outside this monument, which form major subdivisions of the western
slope of the Langstone Downs. Traces of the small irregular cleared plots and
much slighter, discontinuous, walling of broadly contemporary field systems
are visible within the area so divided.
The course of the linear boundary is briefly interrupted at two points. Near
its centre the wall is crossed by a mid-19th century copper-miners'
water-course, called a leat, visible as a shallow ditch, 0.75m wide. A
further 100m uphill, the trackbed cutting of a dismantled mid-19th century
mineral railway causes a break 6.5m wide in the boundary wall.
The surface of the dismantled mineral railway trackbed and the stoneware sink
are excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath them is included.

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. The linear boundaries on Bodmin Moor consist of stone
banks, sometimes incorporating facing slabs or projecting end-set slabs called
orthostats. They may be massively constructed, up to 8m wide and 1m high,
although the majority are much slighter. Built during the Bronze Age (c.2000-
700 BC), they fulfilled a variety of functions. Some run at high altitudes
along a contour and appear to separate lower land used for cultivation from
that less intensively used. Some may be territorial, marking the boundaries of
land held by particular social groups. Others may serve to delineate land set
aside for ceremonial and religious activities such as burial. Frequently
linear boundaries are associated with other forms of contemporary field
system. They provide important information on the farming practices and social
organisation of Bronze Age communities and form an important element of the
existing landscape. A substantial proportion of examples which have survived
are considered worthy of preservation.

This linear boundary on Langstone Downs has survived well and almost complete
with only two minor breaks caused by later activity. The extensive peat
growth about its upper end will preserve land surfaces and environmental
evidence contemporary with its construction and use. Its close proximity to
broadly contemporary field systems, cairns and settlement sites demonstrates
well the nature of social organisation and land use during the Bronze Age.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Sharpe, A, The Minions Area Archaeological Survey and Management (Volume 2), (1989)
consulted 9/1991, Carter, A./RCHME, 1:2500 AP transcription for SX 2473,
consulted 9/1991, Carter, A./RCHME, 1:2500 AP transcriptions for SX 2473 SX 2474 SX 2573,
consulted 9/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1274 (SE wall); 1287; 1428 (part),
consulted 9/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1398,
consulted 9/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1398.23,
consulted 9/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1428,

Source: Historic England

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