Ancient Monuments

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Round cairn on the summit of Little Hound Tor

A Scheduled Monument in South Tawton, Devon

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Latitude: 50.693 / 50°41'34"N

Longitude: -3.9369 / 3°56'12"W

OS Eastings: 263287.373691

OS Northings: 89938.031151

OS Grid: SX632899

Mapcode National: GBR Q6.4NGY

Mapcode Global: FRA 27N7.S1D

Entry Name: Round cairn on the summit of Little Hound Tor

Scheduled Date: 1 March 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010788

English Heritage Legacy ID: 24138

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 of Little Hound
Tor. This cairn forms part of a discrete cluster of monuments including at
least four cairns, a stone circle and a standing stone. The cairn mound
measures 10m in diameter and stands up to 0.9m high. A trench cut through the
centre of the mound suggests partial early excavation or robbing. A large
earthfast granite slab forms the western side of the mound.
A modern pile of stones measuring 2m in diameter and standing up to 0.7m high
sits on top of the cairn.

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 on the summit of Little
Hound Tor survives comparatively well and contains archaeological and
environmental information relating to the monument and the landscape in
which it was erected. This cairn lies in close proximity to three other
cairns, a standing stone and a stone circle.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, 'Devon Archaeological Society Proceedings' in Dartmoor Barrows, , Vol. 36, (1978), 170
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX68NW5, (1986)
MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard,

Source: Historic England

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