Ancient Monuments

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Platform cairn 30m north west of Fordsland Ledge

A Scheduled Monument in Sourton, Devon

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.6823 / 50°40'56"N

Longitude: -4.0172 / 4°1'1"W

OS Eastings: 257584.867431

OS Northings: 88899.068

OS Grid: SX575888

Mapcode National: GBR Q1.DCXG

Mapcode Global: FRA 27G8.QRB

Entry Name: Platform cairn 30m north west of Fordsland Ledge

Scheduled Date: 19 January 1962

Last Amended: 17 January 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010594

English Heritage Legacy ID: 24160

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Sourton

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Okehampton All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

Details

This monument includes a platform cairn situated near to a rock outcrop known
as Fordsland Ledge, which lies on the south west spur of High Willhays
overlooking the valley of the West Okement River. The cairn mound measures
13.9m in diameter and stands up to 1.1m high. A rectangular pit lined roughly
with large stones is visible within the centre of the mound and may represent
the site of a cist or other structure revealed by early excavation. A number
of stones protruding from the mound may have been exposed during the
exploration of the cairn. A small number of edge set stones define the
northern edge of the mound and these probably represent a kerb which survives
elsewhere around the periphery as a buried feature.

MAP EXTRACT
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. Platform cairns are funerary
monuments covering single or multiple burials and dating to the Early Bronze
Age (c.2000-1600 BC). They were constructed as low flat-topped mounds of stone
rubble up to 40m in external diameter. Some examples have other features,
including peripheral banks and internal mounds, constructed on this platform.
A kerb of edge-set stones sometimes bounds the edges of the platform, bank or
mound, or all three. Platform cairns occur as isolated monuments, in small
groups, or in cairn cemeteries. In the latter instances they are normally
found alongside cairns of other types. Although no precise figure is
available, current evidence indicates that there are under 250 known examples
of this monument class nationally. As a rare monument type exhibiting
considerable variation in form, a substantial proportion of surviving examples
are considered worthy of preservation.

Despite partial early excavation, the platform cairn 30m north west of
Fordsland Ledge survives comparatively well and contains archaeological and
environmental information relating to the monument and the landscape in which
it was erected.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX58NE2, (1982)
MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard,
National Archaeological Record, SX58NE2,

Source: Historic England

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