Ancient Monuments

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Banked cairn 950m west of Siblyback Farm

A Scheduled Monument in St. Cleer, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.5269 / 50°31'36"N

Longitude: -4.5049 / 4°30'17"W

OS Eastings: 222550.620845

OS Northings: 72679.502689

OS Grid: SX225726

Mapcode National: GBR ND.J0PR

Mapcode Global: FRA 17GN.SXN

Entry Name: Banked cairn 950m west of Siblyback Farm

Scheduled Date: 10 November 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011318

English Heritage Legacy ID: 15246

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: St. Cleer

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: St Cleer

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a prehistoric funerary banked cairn situated near two
other broadly contemporary cairns on the summit of the Carkeet Downs at the
south-west edge of Siblyback Moor on south-east Bodmin Moor.
The banked cairn survives with a small circular mound of heaped rubble, 7m in
diameter and up to 0.3m high, largely turf-covered with a slightly irregular
upper surface including hollows to 0.15m deep due to recent stone robbing. The
mound is situated slightly north-east of the centre of the cairn's near-
circular outer bank, also of turf-covered heaped rubble, with outer dimensions
of 17.5m NE-SW by 18.5m NW-SE. In cross-section the bank is 1.75m-2m wide and
up to 0.3m high above the thick peaty turf that covers much of the cairn's
surface and the surrounding land.
This monument is situated near two broadly contemporary platform cairns
located 130m to the north-west and 125m to the WNW respectively on the broad
summit of the Carkeet Downs. This group of three cairns forms part of a
sequence of prehistoric funerary cairns, of various forms, located on
successive ridge tops bordering the western side of the upper valley of the
River Fowey. In this series, this monument is located 600m south of a round
cairn on the next ridge to the north and 900m north of another cairn group on
the next ridge to the south.

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

Bodmin Moor, the largest of the Cornish granite uplands, has long been
recognised to have exceptional preservation of archaeological remains. The
Moor has been the subject of detailed archaeological survey and is one of the
best recorded upland landscapes in England. The extensive relict landscapes of
prehistoric, medieval and post-medieval date provide direct evidence for human
exploitation of the Moor from the earliest prehistoric period onwards. The
well-preserved and often visible relationship between settlement sites, field
systems, ceremonial and funerary monuments as well as later industrial remains
provides significant insights into successive changes in the pattern of land
use through time. Banked cairns are funerary monuments covering single or
multiple burials and dating to the Early Bronze Age (c.2000-1600 BC). They
comprise a circular bank of earth and stone rubble, up to 30m in external
diameter and sometimes accompanied by an external ditch, surrounding a central
mound of earth and rubble. A kerb of edge-set stones sometimes bounds the
edges of the bank or mound or both. They occur as isolated monuments, in small
groups or in larger cairn cemeteries. In the latter two instances they may
occur either as groups comprising only banked cairns or, more usually, with
cairns of other types. The burials, either inhumations or cremations, were
placed in small pits, on occasion within box-like structures of stone slabs
called cists, let into the old ground surface or placed within the body of the
mound itself. Although no precise figure is available, current evidence
indicates that there are under 250 known examples of banked cairns nationally.
As a rare class exhibiting considerable variation in form, a substantial
proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of preservation.

This banked cairn on the Carkeet Downs has survived well despite some limited
disturbance from unrecorded recent stone-robbing restricted to the surface of
the inner mound. The cairn's outer bank, much of its mound and internal
deposits and its extensive buried land surface will survive substantially
intact. The thick peat covering much of the monument will also preserve
environmental deposits contemporary with and later than the cairn's
construction and use. The proximity of this monument to the round cairns on
the summit of the Downs and its relationship with the other hilltop cairns
bordering the Fowey valley demonstrates well the nature and diversity of
funerary practices during the Bronze Age.

Source: Historic England


consulted 1993, Carter, A./Fletcher, M.J./RCHME, 1:2500 AP plot and field trace for SX 2272,
consulted 1993, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1258.3,

Source: Historic England

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