Ancient Monuments

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Round cairn with central cist on Bearah Common, 1.106km north of Wardbrook Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Linkinhorne, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.5421 / 50°32'31"N

Longitude: -4.4639 / 4°27'49"W

OS Eastings: 225514.923755

OS Northings: 74263.949574

OS Grid: SX255742

Mapcode National: GBR NF.HC6N

Mapcode Global: FRA 17JM.QRB

Entry Name: Round cairn with central cist on Bearah Common, 1.106km north of Wardbrook Farm

Scheduled Date: 4 December 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010411

English Heritage Legacy ID: 15157

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 small Prehistoric round cairn with a central cist
situated near other broadly contemporary cairns and a major Prehistoric linear
boundary in the broad saddle between Bearah Tor and the Langstone Downs on
eastern Bodmin Moor.
The cairn survives with a circular mound of heaped rubble, 5.3m in diameter
and up to 0.5m high. The mound is covered by a thick peaty turf which has
protected this cairn from earlier antiquarian discovery and disturbance. At
the centre of the mound is a slab-built, box-like structure called a cist,
sunk into the cairn so that the base of its covering slab is level with the
mound's upper surface. The cist is rectangular in plan and each side is
formed from a single slab 0.1m thick, giving an internal chamber measuring
1.1m long, WNW-ESE, by 0.65m wide, NNE-SSW, and 0.7m deep. The two side slabs
and the ESE end-slab are upright; only the WNW end-slab leans slightly
inwards. The cist's covering slab is sub-circular, 1m in diameter and 0.15m
thick. The covering slab has several small angular facets along its edge
which may result from a recent, unsuccessful, attempt to fashion it into a

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 and cist on Bearah Common has survived well, retaining many
original features, with only minor disturbance evident from working the edges
of the covering slab. It has not been archaeologically excavated. The thick
peat in this area, extending over the cairn's edges, will preserve its
peripheral structure, buried land surfaces and environmental evidence
contemporary with, and subsequent to, its construction. Its proximity to
other broadly contemporary cairns and a major linear boundary demonstrates
well the nature of ritual activities and the organisation of land use during
the Bronze Age.

Source: Historic England


consulted 7/1991, Carter, A./RCHME, 1:2500 AP transcriptions for SX 2673 & SX 2674,
consulted 9/1991, Carter, A./RCHME, 1:2500 AP transcription for SX 2574,

Source: Historic England

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