Ancient Monuments

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Kerbed platform cairn with central mound and adjacent stone alignment 1.42km north west of Tresellern Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Altarnun, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.5711 / 50°34'15"N

Longitude: -4.5097 / 4°30'34"W

OS Eastings: 222379.610908

OS Northings: 77598.351861

OS Grid: SX223775

Mapcode National: GBR NC.FCG5

Mapcode Global: FRA 17FK.BXC

Entry Name: Kerbed platform cairn with central mound and adjacent stone alignment 1.42km NW of Tresellern Farm

Scheduled Date: 17 February 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012236

English Heritage Legacy ID: 15190

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Altarnun

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Altarnon with Bolventor

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a kerbed platform cairn with a central mound, from whose
NNW periphery extends a Prehistoric stone alignment. The monument is situated
on the summit of the central hill of East Moor on eastern Bodmin Moor, forming
one element of a local concentration of broadly contemporary ceremonial and
funerary monuments. The monument is divided into three separate areas.
The cairn survives as a turf-covered flat-topped platform of heaped rubble,
14m in diameter and up to 0.6m high. Against the steep edge of the platform is
a kerb of nine edge-set slabs, up to 0.75m high and 1.4m wide, grouped to form
three widely-spaced pairs at the east, south and west sectors, with isolated
kerb slabs at the north-east and north-west. Three hollows at the east side,
one with packing stones visible in its base, mark the former locations of
further kerb slabs. At the centre of the platform is a circular mound of
heaped rubble, 5.5m in diameter and rising 0.5m above the level of the
platform. A 2m diameter central area of the mound has several small hollows,
up to 0.25m deep, resulting from an early unrecorded antiquarian excavation.
These hollows reveal four stone slabs, the largest of which, an edge-set slab
1m long, 0.2m thick and projecting 0.4m high, is considered to derive from an
internal structure of the mound.
On the NNW periphery of the platform is an elongated narrow slab, 2.2m long,
0.5m wide and 0.4m thick at its midpoint, tapered to both ends with a
wedge-shaped SSE edge. The slab lies flat on the platform surface, with its
long axis orientated NNW-SSE. Some stock erosion around the western side of
the slab's base reveals a quantity of small stones packing the slab in place.
This slab is matched by an almost identical slab situated in an otherwise
stone-free area 287m to the south-west. That slab is 2.7m long, 0.4m wide and
0.3m thick, tapered to a wedge-shaped south-west edge. The slab also lies flat
on the ground, its long axis orientated NE-SW and surrounding stock erosion
reveals packing stones about its base. The NE-SW stone alignment is completed
by a third slab, 47m south-west of that on the cairn's periphery and directly
in line between the two recumbent slabs. This slab is 1m long and 0.2m wide,
edge-set and stands 0.75m high with its NE-SW long axis matching the
orientation of the alignment. Stock erosion also reveals packing stones about
its base. This intermediate slab is situated on the south-west crest of the
hill's summit at the only point from which the slabs at each end are visible.
Beyond this monument, the broadly contemporary sites nearby on the hill's
summit include a large embanked platform cairn 60m to the north-west and a
second stone alignment whose SSW slab is 52m north-west of that platform

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.

Platform cairns are funerary monuments covering single or multiple burials and
dating to the early Bronze Age (c.2000 - 1600 BC). They were constructed as
low flat-topped mounds of stone rubble up to 40m in external diameter. Some
examples have other features, including peripheral banks and internal mounds
constructed on the platform. A kerb of edge-set stones sometimes bounds the
edges of the platform, bank or mound or all three. Platform cairns occur as
isolated monuments, in small groups or in cairn cemeteries. In the latter
instances they are normally found alongside cairns of other types. Although no
precise figure is available, current evidence indicates that there are under
250 known examples of platform cairns nationally.
Stone alignments or stone rows consist of upright stones set in a single line,
or in two or more parallel lines, up to several hundred metres in length. They
are often sited close to Prehistoric burial monuments, such as small cairns
and cists, and to ritual monuments, such as stone circles, and are therefore
considered to have had an important ceremonial function. The eight stone
alignments known on Bodmin Moor are considered to date from the late Neolithic
to early Bronze Age periods (c.2500 - 1600 BC). Both platform cairns and stone
alignments are rare monument types which each exhibit considerable variation
in form and associations and which provide important insights into funerary
and ritual practices among Prehistoric communities on the Moor.

This platform cairn and the adjacent stone alignment have survived well, with
only minor damage from the antiquarian excavation and stock erosion. Such an
overlapping association between a cairn and a stone alignment is very rare and
important for understanding the relationships between these types of monument.
The proximity of the monument to other, broadly contemporary, funerary and
ceremonial monuments demonstrates well the nature and diversity of funerary
and ritual activities during the later Neolithic and Bronze Age periods,
while the association of this cairn with another platform cairn, of a
different form, on the hill's summit is also very rare.

Source: Historic England


consulted 1992, Carter, A./RCHME, 1:2500 AP transcription for SX 2277,
consulted 3/1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1088.1,
consulted 3/1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1088.2,
consulted 3/1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1089,
Consulted 3/1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1097,

Source: Historic England

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