Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Round cairn 550m SSE of Longstone Hill summit

A Scheduled Monument in Okehampton Hamlets, Devon

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Latitude: 50.697 / 50°41'49"N

Longitude: -4.0274 / 4°1'38"W

OS Eastings: 256909.379668

OS Northings: 90553.289538

OS Grid: SX569905

Mapcode National: GBR Q1.CHB6

Mapcode Global: FRA 27G7.DSN

Entry Name: Round cairn 550m SSE of Longstone Hill summit

Scheduled Date: 11 January 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010591

English Heritage Legacy ID: 24157

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Okehampton Hamlets

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Okehampton All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


This monument includes a round cairn situated on the lower north west facing
slope of Yes Tor overlooking Longstone Hill. The cairn forms the easternmost
outlier of a discrete cluster of cairns lying along the ridge formed by
Longstone Hill. The other cairns are covered by separate schedulings. The
cairn mound measures 13m in diameter and stands up to 0.9m high. A
rectangular trench leading from the western side of the mound towards the
centre is visible and suggests partial early excavation. A number of small
circular hollows cutting into the core of the mound are probably shell holes,
suggesting that the mound was once used as a target during military training.
A large number of similar hollows survive around the edges of the mound and in
the immediate vicinity.

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

Dartmoor is the largest expanse of open moorland in southern Britain and,
because of exceptional conditions of preservation, it is also one of the most
complete examples of an upland relict landscape in the whole country. The
great wealth and diversity of archaeological remains provide direct evidence
for human exploitation of the Moor from the early prehistoric period onwards.
The well-preserved and often visible relationship between settlement sites,
major land boundaries, trackways, ceremonial and funerary monuments as well as
later industrial remains, gives significant insights into successive changes
in the pattern of land use through time. Round cairns are prehistoric funerary
monuments dating to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They were constructed as
earthen or rubble mounds, the latter predominating in areas of upland Britain
where such raw materials were locally available in abundance. Round cairns may
cover single or multiple burials and are sometimes surrounded by an outer
ditch. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major visual element in
the modern landscape. Their considerable variation in form and longevity as a
monument type provide important information on the diversity of beliefs and
social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. They are
particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of
surviving examples are considered worthy of protection. Dartmoor provides one
of the best preserved and most dense concentrations of round cairns in south-
western Britain.

Despite partial early excavation and later military shelling, the round cairn
550m SSE of Longstone Hill summit survives comparatively well and contains
archaeological and environmental information relating to the monument and the
landscape in which it was erected. This cairn forms an outlying part of a
discrete group of cairns, many of which probably contain funerary and ritual

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Butler, J, 'Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities - The North' in Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, , Vol. 2, (1990), 215
MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard,

Source: Historic England

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