Ancient Monuments

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Ring cairn on the summit of Pen-y-wern Hill

A Scheduled Monument in Clun, Shropshire

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Latitude: 52.4029 / 52°24'10"N

Longitude: -3.0111 / 3°0'39"W

OS Eastings: 331307.291498

OS Northings: 278798.267498

OS Grid: SO313787

Mapcode National: GBR B5.PRCT

Mapcode Global: VH769.RVJV

Entry Name: Ring cairn on the summit of Pen-y-wern Hill

Scheduled Date: 13 January 1932

Last Amended: 7 February 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010317

English Heritage Legacy ID: 19165

County: Shropshire

Civil Parish: Clun

Traditional County: Shropshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Shropshire

Church of England Parish: Chapel Lawn

Church of England Diocese: Hereford


The monument includes a ring cairn situated on the rounded summit of
Pen-y-wern Hill. The ring cairn survives as a flat-topped circular mound 30m
in diameter and up to 0.9m high. The mound is irregular and hummocky over much
of its upper surface and a shallow hollow 5m in diameter and 0.3m deep lies
south west of its centre. Around the perimeter of the mound are eleven
earthfast kerb stones, the largest with dimensions of 0.8m by 0.4m. Other
stones scattered across the surface of the mound are loose and have probably
been disturbed from the cairn edge. Although no longer visible as a surface
feature a ditch will surround the mound with an estimated width of 2m.
An associated stone 150m SE, formally standing upright, is related to the ring
cairn, though the subject of a separate scheduling.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

A ring cairn is a prehistoric ritual monument comprising a circular bank of
stones up to 20m in diameter surrounding a hollow central area. The bank may
be kerbed on the inside, and sometimes on the outside as well, with small
uprights or laid boulders. Ring cairns are found mainly in upland areas of
England and are mostly discovered and authenticated by fieldwork and ground
level survey, although a few are large enough to be visible on aerial
photographs. They often occur in pairs or small groups of up to four examples.
Occasionally they lie within round barrow cemeteries. Ring cairns are
interpreted as ritual monuments of Early and Middle Bronze Age date. The exact
nature of the rituals concerned is not fully understood, but excavation has
revealed pits, some containing burials and others containing charcoal and
pottery, taken to indicate feasting activities associated with the burial
rituals. Many areas of upland have not yet been surveyed in detail and the
number of ring cairns in England is not accurately known. However, available
evidence indicates a population of between 250 and 500 examples. As a
relatively rare class of monument exhibiting considerable variation in form,
all positively identified examples retaining significant archaeological
deposits are considered worthy of preservation.

The ring cairn on Pen-y-wern Hill survives well and is a good example of its
class. It will retain archaeological evidence relating to the construction of
the cairn and its subsequent use. Environmental evidence relating to the
landscape in which it was constructed will be preserved beneath the mound and
in the ditch fill.

Source: Historic England


SMR ref 01162, Chitty, L F,

Source: Historic England

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