Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Cairn south-west of Gutter Tor

A Scheduled Monument in Sheepstor, Devon

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Latitude: 50.4833 / 50°28'59"N

Longitude: -4.0078 / 4°0'28"W

OS Eastings: 257650.325435

OS Northings: 66752.139221

OS Grid: SX576667

Mapcode National: GBR Q2.ZVR5

Mapcode Global: FRA 27HS.8FH

Entry Name: Cairn south-west of Gutter Tor

Scheduled Date: 22 November 1965

Last Amended: 18 October 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012280

English Heritage Legacy ID: 10591

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 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 surrounding ditch.
This cairn lies just west of an enclosure, south-west of Gutter Tor. It is
9m in diameter, 0.3m in height around its circumference and is flat in the
middle. It is reported to have had a central cist, but this was not visible,
The site may have been partly disturbed to build the nearby wall. The cairn
lies 80m south-east of a cist and within a few hundred metres of other

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.
Despite some disturbance, this is a well-preserved example of a cairn and
occupies a prominent position on the brow of Gutter Tor. Its relationship to
other monuments indicates the wealth of evidence relating to settlement and
to the ritual side of 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), 166
Devon SMR, SX56NE-011,

Source: Historic England

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