Ancient Monuments

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A round cairn 190m north east of Cawsand Beacon forming part of a cairn cemetery on the summit of Cawsand Hill

A Scheduled Monument in South Tawton, Devon

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Latitude: 50.7085 / 50°42'30"N

Longitude: -3.9314 / 3°55'52"W

OS Eastings: 263725.32285

OS Northings: 91656.160645

OS Grid: SX637916

Mapcode National: GBR Q6.3PX5

Mapcode Global: FRA 27N6.G7N

Entry Name: A round cairn 190m north east of Cawsand Beacon forming part of a cairn cemetery on the summit of Cawsand Hill

Scheduled Date: 1 March 1972

Last Amended: 6 March 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010771

English Heritage Legacy ID: 24146

County: Devon

Civil Parish: South Tawton

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: South Tawton St Andrew

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


This monument includes a round cairn situated on the summit ridge of Cawsand
or Cosdon Hill. The cairn forms part of a cemetery including at least two
round cairns, two ring cairns and one platform cairn. The cairn mound
measures 7m in diameter and stands up to 0.6m high. A hollow in the centre of
the mound representing an early excavation is faced on two sides with large
slabs which may represent the cist described by Falcon in 1905 as being 4ft
long by 2ft wide. A ring of edge set stones around this cist is visible and
may represent an internal kerb, which survives largely as a buried feature.
Two stones set on edge on the eastern periphery of the mound may represent a
second cist.
Two ring cairns, a further round cairn and a platform cairn also lie on the
summit of Cawsand Hill.

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 190m north east of Cawsand
Beacon survives comparatively well and contains archaeological and
environmental information relating to the monument and the landscape in which
it was erected. This cairn forms part of the Cawsand Hill cairn cemetery,
which includes at least two round cairns, two ring cairns and a platform

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Butler, J, 'Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities - The North' in Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, , Vol. 2, (1990), 206-207
Falcon, T A, 'Devonshire Association Transactions' in Dartmoor: A Note On Graves, , Vol. 37, (1905), 459
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX69SW84, (1986)
MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard,

Source: Historic England

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