Ancient Monuments

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Prehistoric round cairn on the eastern outcrop of Bearah Tor

A Scheduled Monument in North Hill, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.5459 / 50°32'45"N

Longitude: -4.4533 / 4°27'12"W

OS Eastings: 226275.621223

OS Northings: 74661.522871

OS Grid: SX262746

Mapcode National: GBR NG.GV8T

Mapcode Global: FRA 17KM.8W4

Entry Name: Prehistoric round cairn on the eastern outcrop of Bearah Tor

Scheduled Date: 26 June 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010361

English Heritage Legacy ID: 15085

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 comprises a small Prehistoric funerary cairn surrounding the
easternmost tor of the Bearah Tor ridge. The cairn is situated near
Prehistoric linear boundaries along the eastern slope of Bearah Tor on SE
Bodmin Moor.
The cairn survives as an oval arrangement of stone rubble, heaped up to 1.75m
high against the vertical sides of subrectangular granite outcrop measuring
14m NE-SW by 9m NW-SE and standing 3m high. The periphery of the cairn's
rubble is well defined, extending 6m from the NE face of the outcrop and 5m
from its NW and SE faces, but only 2m from its SW face. On both the SW and SE
sides, the rubble overrides the lower exposures of bedrock which border the
outcrop on those faces. A layer of cairn rubble, largely turf covered, is
also present on the irregular upper surface of the outcrop. A slender granite
slab, 0.4m wide and 1m high, is wedged upright in a natural joint in the
bedrock at the SE periphery of the cairn. The outcrop forming the focus of
this cairn is the easternmost of an ENE-WSW linear succession of granite
outcrops that crowns the summit of Bearah Tor.

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.

The round cairn on Bearah Tor survives well with no apparent disturbance. Its
proximity to a series of broadly contemporary linear boundaries, field systems
and settlement sites demonstrates well the pattern of land use during the
Bronze Age.

Source: Historic England


consulted 7/1991, Carter, A./RCHME, 1:2500 AP transcription for SX 2674,
consulted 7/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1423,
consulted 7/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1426,
consulted 9/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1427.1,

Source: Historic England

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