Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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One of a number of cairns with cists south of Shavercombe Brook

A Scheduled Monument in Sheepstor, Devon

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Latitude: 50.4751 / 50°28'30"N

Longitude: -3.9804 / 3°58'49"W

OS Eastings: 259570.438898

OS Northings: 65792.22511

OS Grid: SX595657

Mapcode National: GBR Q4.6HCN

Mapcode Global: FRA 27KS.T9P

Entry Name: One of a number of cairns with cists south of Shavercombe Brook

Scheduled Date: 29 November 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012213

English Heritage Legacy ID: 10652

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Sheepstor

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


Many examples of Prehistoric funerary monuments are preserved on Dartmoor,
mostly dating to the Bronze Age (c.2500-500 BC). To celebrate or commemorate
the dead, mounds of earth or stone were piled in a roughly hemispherical
shape over the burial, which was sometimes contained in a small rectangular
structure, or cist, made of stone slabs. Some monuments also include
kerbstones marking the outer edge of the mound and a surrounding ditch.
This cairn with a cist lies on a north-west facing slope south of
Shavercombe Brook and south-east of Shavercombe Tor. It consists of a mound
4.5m in diameter and 0.5m in height with traces of a possible retaining
kerb, and a central cist. The four slabs of the cist are present, creating a
cist 0.8m in length, 0.6m in width and 0.4m in depth and the capstone lies
displaced to the north-east. There are several other cairns in the immediate

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.
This cairn is a comparatively well-preserved example of a cairn with a cist
lying on the valley slope. Its relationship to other cairns indicates the
wealth of evidence relating to the ritual side of Prehistoric life on this
part of the Moor.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, 'Proc. Devon Arch. Soc.' in Dartmoor Barrows (0305 5795), , Vol. 36, (1978), 164
Devon County SMR SX56NE-167, Devon County SMR SX56NE-167,

Source: Historic England

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