Ancient Monuments

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Chambered cairn in Cuckoo Ball newtake

A Scheduled Monument in Ugborough, Devon

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Latitude: 50.4082 / 50°24'29"N

Longitude: -3.8877 / 3°53'15"W

OS Eastings: 265960.306458

OS Northings: 58187.645244

OS Grid: SX659581

Mapcode National: GBR Q9.3P33

Mapcode Global: FRA 27RZ.18G

Entry Name: Chambered cairn in Cuckoo Ball newtake

Scheduled Date: 25 February 1953

Last Amended: 13 January 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012284

English Heritage Legacy ID: 10548

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 (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 chambered cairn lies in the north-west corner of Cuckoo Ball
newtake, fenced off from the enclosed grazing, but open to access from the
Moor. It is tapering in shape, about 20m long, 12m wide at the north end and
7m at the south end and has a maximum mound height of 1m. Two of the megaliths
which formed part of the chamber at the north end remain standing. They have a
maximum height of nearly 2m, maximum width of 1.6m and thickness of 0.2m.
Three have fallen and any capstones have been removed. Large stones in the
newtake wall may derive from the 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.
Despite the partial collapse of the chamber, this chambered cairn is a well-
preserved example of a type of monument very rare on Dartmoor. Its
relationship to a rare long cairn 400m to the north and to other burials and
monuments of different 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), 132
Devon County SMR (SX65NE-001),

Source: Historic England

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