Ancient Monuments

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Two round cairns 1.38km WSW of Tresellern Farm

A Scheduled Monument in North Hill, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.5597 / 50°33'35"N

Longitude: -4.5095 / 4°30'34"W

OS Eastings: 222348.110447

OS Northings: 76337.587119

OS Grid: SX223763

Mapcode National: GBR NC.G5GR

Mapcode Global: FRA 17FL.BYY

Entry Name: Two round cairns 1.38km WSW of Tresellern Farm

Scheduled Date: 17 February 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012212

English Heritage Legacy ID: 15188

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: North Hill

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Altarnon with Bolventor

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes two Prehistoric round cairns situated on the southern
edge of East Moor on eastern Bodmin Moor, and positioned close to other
broadly contemporary cairns and settlement sites.
The two cairns are separated by a gap of 4.5m on a NNW-SSE axis. Each cairn
survives as a turf-covered circular mound of heaped granite rubble. The
northern cairn is 9m in diameter and 1m high. A limited excavation during the
late 19th century, by the antiquary Baring-Gould, has produced a narrow
trench, 1m wide and up to 0.5m deep, running in from the cairn's southern edge
and leading to a central hollow 2.2m in diameter and 0.7m deep. The sides of
the trench reveal the mound's densely packed rubble comprising small slabs up
to 0.3m across. The larger southern cairn is 11.75m in diameter and 1.3m high.
It was also subject to excavation by Baring-Gould, producing a trench 1.7m
wide and up to 0.7m deep, running in from the cairn's south-eastern edge and
rising towards the centre of the mound, without any distinct central hollow.
This trench reveals a similar rubble make-up to the other cairn. Baring-Gould
records that his excavation of one of these cairns revealed a peripheral kerb
and a central granite cist, a slab-built box-like structure, containing ashes
and burnt bone.

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.

These round cairns on East Moor have survived substantially intact, with only
limited and well-defined disturbance by the late 19th century excavation,
whose published record increases our knowledge of these cairn's features. The
proximity of this cairn to other broadly contemporary settlement sites
demonstrates well the nature of ritual activities and the organisation of land
use during the Bronze Age.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Baring-Gould, Rev S, 'Journal of the Royal Institution of Cornwall' in , , Vol. 11, (1891), 290
Consulted 3/1992, Carter, A/RCHME, 1:2500 AP transcription for SX 2276,
Consulted 3/1992, Cornwall SMR entries for PRN 1017; 1018.2; 1062,
Consulted 3/1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1057.1,
Consulted 3/1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1057.2,

Source: Historic England

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