Ancient Monuments

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Round cairn 340m south-west of White Hill summit, forming part of the White Hill round cairn cemetery

A Scheduled Monument in Lydford, Devon

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Latitude: 50.6339 / 50°38'2"N

Longitude: -4.0787 / 4°4'43"W

OS Eastings: 253093.463845

OS Northings: 83643.027615

OS Grid: SX530836

Mapcode National: GBR NZ.9G5L

Mapcode Global: FRA 27BD.JTG

Entry Name: Round cairn 340m south-west of White Hill summit, forming part of the White Hill round cairn cemetery

Scheduled Date: 23 July 1963

Last Amended: 29 September 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011478

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20347

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Lydford

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


This monument includes a round cairn situated on a gentle west-facing slope
overlooking Willsworthy Army Camp. The cairn mound is flat-topped, measures
13m in diameter and stands up to 0.5m high. A shallow hollow in the centre of
the mound is probably the result of a partial excavation by Baring Gould in
1888. This work revealed a pan or basin containing ashes and charcoal. A
ditch, from which material was quarried during the construction of the cairn,
surrounds the mound. This has become infilled over the years, but survives as
a 2.5m wide ring of enhanced grass cover caused by increased moisture in the
buried ditch.

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, the round cairn 340m south-west of
White Hill summit survives comparatively well and forms part of the White Hill
round cairn cemetery which includes three ring cairns and nine round cairns.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Baring Gould, S, 'Devonshire Association Transactions' in Tenth Report of the Barrow Committee, , Vol. 20, (1888), 47-8
Grinsell, L V, 'Devon Archaeological Society Proceedings' in Dartmoor Barrows, , Vol. 36, (1978), 159

Source: Historic England

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