Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Long cairn east of Butterdon Hill

A Scheduled Monument in Ugborough, Devon

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Latitude: 50.4119 / 50°24'42"N

Longitude: -3.8871 / 3°53'13"W

OS Eastings: 266012.454506

OS Northings: 58591.271736

OS Grid: SX660585

Mapcode National: GBR Q9.3H79

Mapcode Global: FRA 27RY.TQC

Entry Name: Long cairn east of Butterdon Hill

Scheduled Date: 15 May 1953

Last Amended: 14 October 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012247

English Heritage Legacy ID: 10547

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), with a few dating to the
Neolithic period (c. 5000-2500 BC). To celebrate or commemorate the dead,
mounds of earth or stone were piled in a roughly hemispherical or sub-
rectangular shape over the burial, which was sometimes contained in a small
rectangular structure, or cist, or a chamber made of stone slabs. Some
monuments also include kerbstones marking the outer edge of the mound and a
surrounding ditch.
This long cairn is one of a very few known on Dartmoor, it lies to the east
of Butterdon Hill near the head of Lud Brook and is orientated north/south.
The body of the cairn is oval, with maximum dimensions of 23m in length
and 11m in width and about 0.9m in height. Large stones along its east
side suggest that it was a gallery grave, with a passage leading to the
burial chamber.

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.
This long cairn is a well-preserved example of a type of monument very rare
on Dartmoor. Its relationship to other monuments of similar and different
types and with Cuckoo Ball chambered cairn 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
Fletcher, M J, Grinsell, L V, Quinnell, N V, A Long Cairn on Butterdon Hill, Ugborough, (1974)
Grinsell, L V, 'Devon Archaeological Society Proceedings' in Dartmoor Barrows, , Vol. 36, (1978)
Devon County SMR (SX 65 NE 002),

Source: Historic England

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