Ancient Monuments

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Two cairns on the south side of Ugborough Beacon

A Scheduled Monument in Ugborough, Devon

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Latitude: 50.4137 / 50°24'49"N

Longitude: -3.8772 / 3°52'37"W

OS Eastings: 266720.173249

OS Northings: 58779.703897

OS Grid: SX667587

Mapcode National: GBR Q9.3KR2

Mapcode Global: FRA 27RY.RBK

Entry Name: Two cairns on the south side of Ugborough Beacon

Scheduled Date: 25 October 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012249

English Heritage Legacy ID: 10542

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Ugborough

Built-Up Area: Bittaford

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 two very large cairns on the brow of Ugborough Beacon each consist of
an earth and stone base surmounted by a mound of stones. The more westerly
cairn is 28m in diameter and 1.7m high with a flat top and a hollow in the
centre, suggesting it has been disturbed in the past. The more easterly
cairn is now partially turf covered and is surrounded by traces of a
retaining curb. It is 24m in diameter, 1.75m high, and has a hollow centre
suggesting it has been robbed in the past. Visitors have repositioned some
of the stones of the mound to form shelters.

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 two large cairns are well-preserved examples and occupy prominent
positions near the summit of a hill, forming an important beacon group,
visible for a considerable distance, at the southern edge of the Moor.
Their relationship to other monuments of several types 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, , Vol. 36, (1978)
Devon County SMR (SX 65 NE 191),
Devon County SMR (SX 65 NE 192),

Source: Historic England

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