Ancient Monuments

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Cairn to the west of Tristis Rock, Burford Down

A Scheduled Monument in Harford, Devon

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Latitude: 50.4254 / 50°25'31"N

Longitude: -3.9191 / 3°55'8"W

OS Eastings: 263775.294425

OS Northings: 60153.977954

OS Grid: SX637601

Mapcode National: GBR Q7.WM1J

Mapcode Global: FRA 27PX.T57

Entry Name: Cairn to the west of Tristis Rock, Burford Down

Scheduled Date: 20 July 1972

Last Amended: 6 December 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010766

English Heritage Legacy ID: 10528

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Harford

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


Many examples of Prehistoric funerary monuments are preserved on Dartmoor,
mostly dating to the Bronze Age (c.2500-500 BC). To celebrate or commemorate
the dead, mounds of earth or stone were piled in a roughly hemispherical
shape over the burial, which was sometimes contained in a small rectangular
structure, or cist, made of stone slabs. Some monuments also include
kerbstones marking the outer edge of the mound and a surrounding ditch.
The cairn by Tristis Rock is 5.5 m. in diameter and survives to a height
of 0.6 m., with a retaining kerb of ten stones up to 0.6 m. high and the
south side of a robbed cist, measuring 1.22m. in length and 0.15 m. in
thickness, in the centre.

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.
Despite some disturbance, Tristis Rock cairn is a well-preserved example of a
cairn with retaining kerb and cist and occupies a prominent position on the
brow of a hill. Its relationship to other ceremonial monuments indicates the
wealth of evidence relating to the spiritual side of Prehistoric life on this
part of the Moor.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Davidson, C J, Seabrook, R A G, 'Proc. Devon Arch. Soc.' in Stone Rings on South East Dartmoor, , Vol. 31, (1973), 25,35
SMR Record SX 66 SW-020,

Source: Historic England

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