Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Cairn south-west of Spurrell's Cross, Ugborough Moor

A Scheduled Monument in Harford, Devon

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Latitude: 50.4223 / 50°25'20"N

Longitude: -3.8902 / 3°53'24"W

OS Eastings: 265819.1899

OS Northings: 59751.20409

OS Grid: SX658597

Mapcode National: GBR Q9.2VV8

Mapcode Global: FRA 27RY.07X

Entry Name: Cairn south-west of Spurrell's Cross, Ugborough Moor

Scheduled Date: 7 October 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012287

English Heritage Legacy ID: 10539

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Harford

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.
This large cairn stands on the summit of a hill 230 m. south-west of
Spurrell's Cross, it is 17 m. in diameter and about 1 m. high, consisting of
a base built of stone and earth surmounted by a mound of stones. The stones
on the mound have been moved by visitors in order 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.
This large cairn is a well-preserved example and occupies a prominent
position on the summit of a hill, forming part of a series of large cairns
of similar construction on hilltops along the eastern side of the Erme
Valley. Its 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), 172
Devon County SMR (SX65NE-016),

Source: Historic England

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