Ancient Monuments

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Round cairn with orthostatic kerb and cist 482m south east of Trewortha Farm

A Scheduled Monument in North Hill, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.5483 / 50°32'53"N

Longitude: -4.4782 / 4°28'41"W

OS Eastings: 224521.204432

OS Northings: 74987.732955

OS Grid: SX245749

Mapcode National: GBR NF.GTSR

Mapcode Global: FRA 17HM.557

Entry Name: Round cairn with orthostatic kerb and cist 482m SE of Trewortha Farm

Scheduled Date: 3 June 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009692

English Heritage Legacy ID: 15109

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: North Hill

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: North Hill

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a well-preserved cairn with an orthostatic kerb about a
central cist situated near other similar cairns and close to Prehistoric field
systems and settlement sites on the north-western lower slope of Kilmar Tor on
eastern Bodmin Moor.
The cairn survives with an oval mound of heaped rubble, measuring 6m east-west
by 5m north-south and rising to 0.5m high. At the western end of the cairn's
mound, a level circular area, 2.75m in diameter and 0.5m high, is defined by
ten upright slabs, called orthostats, up to 1.1m high and spaced 0.1-0.5m
apart forming a projecting kerb from which one orthostat has fallen over and a
further four now lean markedly outwards. The edge of the cairn's mound drops
steeply from the outer sides of the orthostats around the western half of this
area. At the centre of the kerbed level area is an open, box-like structure
called a cist, lined by single granite slabs on each side and the floor. The
cist measures internally 1m NW-SE by 0.6m NE-SW and 0.75m deep.

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 cairn on Kilmar Tor has survived well, displaying several unusual
features, notably the combination of an oval mound, an intact orthostatic kerb
and a well-preserved cist. There is no evident or recorded disturbance. It
is not considered that the cist was originally covered by much more mound
material than at present and though it is likely that the cist's contents and
cover-slab have been removed, no antiquarian trenching is apparent and the
cairn will retain intact its other sub-surface features, including any other
burial deposits. This cairn`s proximity to broadly contemporary settlement
sites and funerary monuments of various types demonstrates well the
organisation of land use and the diversity of funerary practices during the
Bronze Age.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Trahair, J E R, 'Cornish Archaeology' in A survey of cairns on Bodmin Moor, , Vol. 17, (1978)
consulted 9/1991, Carter, A./RCHME, 1:2500 AP transcriptions for SX 2475 & 2575,
consulted 9/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1012.01,
consulted 9/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1012.02,
consulted 9/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1012.05,
consulted 9/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1077,
consulted 9/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1288,

Source: Historic England

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