Ancient Monuments

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Round cairn 417m north-west of Showery Tor

A Scheduled Monument in Advent, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.6051 / 50°36'18"N

Longitude: -4.6205 / 4°37'13"W

OS Eastings: 214669.684498

OS Northings: 81648.14207

OS Grid: SX146816

Mapcode National: GBR N7.C6YT

Mapcode Global: FRA 176G.PRN

Entry Name: Round cairn 417m north-west of Showery Tor

Scheduled Date: 8 September 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011459

English Heritage Legacy ID: 15209

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Advent

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: St Breward

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a prehistoric funerary round cairn situated near other
broadly contemporary cairns, settlement sites and field systems on the north-
western slope of the Showery Tor ridge on north-west Bodmin Moor. The round
cairn survives as an ovoid mound of heaped rubble, measuring 6.5m east-west,
down the hillslope, by 5.5m north-south, across the hillslope, and rising up
to 0.8m high. Relatively recent stone-robbing has produced two small hollows,
up to 2m in diameter and 0.1m deep, near the top of the mound and resulted in
a low mound of rubble spoil, 1m wide and up to 0.1m high, extending for 2.75m
from the south-east perimeter of the mound.
This cairn is one of a dispersed and varied group of at least twelve broadly
contemporary funerary cairns situated near and upon prehistoric field banks
covering three hectares on the north-west slopes of Showery Tor. These cairns
appear to post-date the partial dismantling of the field walls which occurred
after a change in the prehistoric land use of the area. Beyond this monument,
fragmentary traces of those dismantled field boundaries extend to 10m from
this cairn on its western and southern sides, and survive more extensively,
defining subrectangular field plots, from 35m to the north-west.

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. Round cairns are funerary monuments covering single or
multiple burials and dating to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They were
constructed as mounds of earth and stone rubble up to 40m in external diameter
but usually considerably smaller; a kerb of edge-set stones sometimes bounds
the edges of the mound. Burials were placed in small pits, or on occasion
within a box-like structure of stone slabs called a cist, let into the old
ground surface or dug into the body of the cairn. Round cairns can occur as
isolated monuments, in small groups or in larger cemeteries. Their
considerable variation in form and longevity as a monument type provides
important information on the diversity of beliefs, burial practices and social
organisation in the Bronze Age. They are particularly representative of their
period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered
worthy of preservation.

This round cairn on the north-west slope of Showery Tor has survived well
despite the limited and well-defined disturbance of stone robbers. Its
proximity to other broadly contemporary funerary and settlement sites
demonstrates well the nature of funerary practices during the Bronze Age and
provides rare evidence for a major development in land-use organisation.

Source: Historic England


consulted 10/1991, Carter, A./RCHME, 1:2500 AP transcription for SX 1481,
consulted 10/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 3288,
consulted 10/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 3288.10,
consulted 10/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 3291,
consulted 10/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 3292,
consulted 10/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 3299.2,
consulted 10/19991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 3299.1,

Source: Historic England

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