Ancient Monuments

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Three round cairns 610m south west of Black Tor

A Scheduled Monument in Walkhampton, Devon

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Latitude: 50.524 / 50°31'26"N

Longitude: -4.0193 / 4°1'9"W

OS Eastings: 256961.531961

OS Northings: 71300.531939

OS Grid: SX569713

Mapcode National: GBR Q1.QKD6

Mapcode Global: FRA 27GP.3YY

Entry Name: Three round cairns 610m south west of Black Tor

Scheduled Date: 2 June 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011169

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22287

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Walkhampton

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


This monument includes three round cairns situated on a gentle south-facing
slope overlooking the valley of the River Meavy. The northern cairn mound
measures 7.5m in diameter and stands up to 0.7m high. A few retaining stones
are visible around the perimeter of the mound, indicating the presence of a
kerb which survives largely as a buried feature. A slight hollow in the
centre of the mound suggests partial early excavation or robbing. The
southern cairn mound measures 4.7m in diameter and stands up to 0.7m high. A
few stones set on edge around the western perimeter of this mound suggest that
it too contains a kerb. The western mound lies 2m from the southern one and
measures 3m in diameter and stands up to 0.5m high.

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 evidence for partial excavation of one mound, the three round cairns
610m south west of Black Tor, survive well and contain archaeological and
environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it
was constructed. These cairns lie within an area containing a large number of
well preserved contemporary cairns, stone alignments and settlements.

Source: Historic England


Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX57SE100,
MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard,
National Archaeological Record, SX57SE77,

Source: Historic England

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