Ancient Monuments

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Prehistoric funerary cist 1.275km north west of Wardbrook Farm

A Scheduled Monument in North Hill, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.542 / 50°32'31"N

Longitude: -4.4738 / 4°28'25"W

OS Eastings: 224812.52934

OS Northings: 74281.123464

OS Grid: SX248742

Mapcode National: GBR NF.H8MT

Mapcode Global: FRA 17JM.LWR

Entry Name: Prehistoric funerary cist 1.275km NW of Wardbrook Farm

Scheduled Date: 4 December 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012043

English Heritage Legacy ID: 15175

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: North Hill

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Linkinhorne

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a Prehistoric short cist situated near other broadly
contemporary funerary monuments, some also including cists, and close to
extensive Prehistoric field systems and settlements on the NW edge of the
Langstone Downs on SE Bodmin Moor.
The cist is visible as a rectangular setting of edge-set slabs, well-embedded
in the thick peaty turf, forming a box-like arrangement measuring internally
0.8m NNW-SSE by 0.5m ENE-WSW. The long sides of the cist are formed from a
single slab each. The WSW slab measures 0.75m long and stands 0.4m high; the
ENE slab is 1m long and leans markedly due to subsidence such that its 0.6m
width rises only 0.2m above the ground. The slab forming the cist's SSW side
is 0.5m long and stands 0.4m high. The north side of the monument is situated
on the edge of a marshy gully through the peat into which the slab which
formerly closed that side of the cist is thought to have subsided. An
additional edge-set slab, 0.5m long and projecting 0.2m above the peat
surface, is situated 0.75m south of the cist's SSE slab and orientated
parallel to it, forming a marker at one end of the cist. The modern post and
wire fence is excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath it is

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.

Prehistoric funerary cists are box-like rectangular stone structures used for
burial purposes during the Bronze Age (c.2000-750 BC). They are made from flat
stone slabs, edge-set to form the four sides, and sometimes topped by a larger
coverstone. The smaller cists usually have sides formed from a single slab
each, whereas the longer cists may include several slabs in each side. Where
excavated, some cists have produced human skeletal remains or cremation
deposits, sometimes accompanied by pottery vessels and other grave goods such
as copper or bronze knives, stone axes and jet buttons and beads. Cists have a
particularly frequent association with the distinctive `Beaker' pottery of the
early Bronze Age (c.2000-1600 BC). Cists are commonly contained within the
mounds of funerary cairns but free-standing examples form a separate group in
their own right. The national distribution of free-standing cists shows them
to be most frequent in northern England, with another concentration on
Dartmoor. On Bodmin Moor they are much rarer; of the 33 known cists on Bodmin
Moor, only two are freestanding. In common with the Dartmoor cists, those on
Bodmin Moor are constructed from local granite slabs. Cists provide important
insights into the range and development of funerary and ceremonial practices
during the Bronze Age. As rare examples at the edge of their national
distribution, both free-standing cists on Bodmin Moor are considered worthy of

This cist on the Langstone Downs has survived substantially intact as one of
only two free-standing cists on Bodmin Moor. It shows no evidence for any
deliberate disturbance and the natural gullying from the marsh edge affects
only the extreme northern periphery of the cist. Its situation, deeply
embedded in a thick peat soil, will preserve many of the cist's original
features. The peat will also contain layers rich in environmental evidence
contemporary with and subsequent to the cist's construction. The proximity of
the cist to other broadly contemporary funerary monuments, including cairns
with cists, and to Bronze Age field systems and settlement sites, demonstrates
well the diversity of burial practices and the organisation of land use during
the Bronze Age.

Source: Historic England


consulted 1/1992, Carter, A./RCHME, 1:2500 AP transcriptions for SX 2473-5 & 2573-5,
Consulted 1/1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 3159.06,

Source: Historic England

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