Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Group of three closely spaced cairns on the south-western brow of Western Beacon

A Scheduled Monument in Ugborough, Devon

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Latitude: 50.4032 / 50°24'11"N

Longitude: -3.8946 / 3°53'40"W

OS Eastings: 265455.089425

OS Northings: 57635.647632

OS Grid: SX654576

Mapcode National: GBR Q9.41B7

Mapcode Global: FRA 27QZ.JK9

Entry Name: Group of three closely spaced cairns on the south-western brow of Western Beacon

Scheduled Date: 10 October 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012229

English Heritage Legacy ID: 10546

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Ugborough

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Ugborough St Peter

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


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.
These three closely spaced cairns are situated on the south-western brow of
Western Beacon. Each cairn consists of a base built of stone and earth and
surmounted by a mound of stones. The cairns range in size with the following
dimensions; 12m, 23m and 23m in diameter and 1m, 1.7m and 1.8m high. Some of
the stones of the mounds have been repositioned by visitors to form

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 provides 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.
These three large cairns are well-preserved examples which occupy a
prominent position on the south-western brow of Western Beacon.
Their relationship to other monuments of the same type 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, 'Devon Archaeological Society Proceedings' in Dartmoor Barrows, (1978)
Grinsell, L V, 'Devon Archaeological Society Proceedings' in Dartmoor Barrows, (1978)
Devon County SMR (SX 65 NE 004),

Source: Historic England

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