Ancient Monuments

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Round cairn and shelter 140m north west of Yes Tor summit

A Scheduled Monument in Okehampton Hamlets, Devon

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Latitude: 50.6941 / 50°41'38"N

Longitude: -4.0125 / 4°0'44"W

OS Eastings: 257955.263347

OS Northings: 90201.811823

OS Grid: SX579902

Mapcode National: GBR Q2.KM4P

Mapcode Global: FRA 27H7.LMC

Entry Name: Round cairn and shelter 140m north west of Yes Tor summit

Scheduled Date: 27 February 1963

Last Amended: 17 January 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010595

English Heritage Legacy ID: 24161

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 and a small shelter situated on a
natural shelf immediately below the summit of Yes Tor which overlooks much of
North Devon. The cairn mound measures 29m in diameter and stands up to 2m
high. This cairn has been the subject of a partial excavation which has left
two distinctive features. The first is a large hollow in the centre of the
mound, which measures 7m long, 6m wide and 1.5m deep, and in which many large
rocks are exposed. The second is a 14m long, 3m wide and 0.7m deep trench
which leads to the central hollow from the northern edge of the cairn. Many of
the stones forming banks around these hollows probably represent material
upcast during the course of the undocumented antiquarian exploration. A small
shelter of unknown date lies 4m south of the cairn. The interior of this
structure is oval in shape, measures 2m long by 1.5m wide and is surrounded by
a 1.1m wide and 0.4m high rubble wall. A gap in the north eastern wall
probably represents a doorway.

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, the round cairn 140m north west of Yes Tor
survives comparatively well and contains archaeological and environmental
information relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was
erected. This cairn is situated near to the top of Dartmoor's second highest
peak. In addition to the cairn, the monument includes a small shelter.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Butler, J, 'Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities - The North' in Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, , Vol. 2, (1990), 214
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX59SE9, (1987)
MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard,

Source: Historic England

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