Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

One of a group of four cairns on Butterdon Hill

A Scheduled Monument in Ugborough, Devon

We don't have any photos of this monument yet. Why don't you be the first to send us one?

Upload Photo »

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »

If Google Street View is available, the image is from the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the monument. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.


Latitude: 50.4133 / 50°24'47"N

Longitude: -3.8931 / 3°53'35"W

OS Eastings: 265589.516067

OS Northings: 58757.22629

OS Grid: SX655587

Mapcode National: GBR Q9.3FQ4

Mapcode Global: FRA 27QY.R46

Entry Name: One of a group of four cairns on Butterdon Hill

Scheduled Date: 25 February 1953

Last Amended: 10 October 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012772

English Heritage Legacy ID: 10602

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Ugborough

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. 2500-500BC). 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.
The four cairns on Butterdon Hill are similarly constructed with a mound of
stones built upon a stone, earth and turf base, the circumference of which
projects beyond the stones. They range in diameter from 15m. to 28m. and in
height from 1m. to 3m. and are part of a series of large stone cairns along
the ridge between Butterdon Hill and Weatherdon Hill.
This cairn, north of the summit of Butterdon Hill, consists of a mound of
stones built upon a stone, earth and turf base, possibly with a berm and
ditch. It is 28m. in diameter and approximately 3m. high and is the largest
of a series of similar large cairns along the ridge between Butterdon Hill and
Weatherdon Hill.

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 four large cairns are well preserved examples and occupy prominent
positions on the brow of Butterdon Hill, forming part of a series of large,
probably high status, cairns of similar construction on hilltops along the
eastern side of the Erme Valley. The group of cairns on this hill suggests
that it was of particular importance as a focal point for the local community.
The relationship of this group with other cairns indicates the wealth of
evidence relating to the ritual side of Prehistoric life on this part of the

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, 'Proc. Devon Arch. Soc.' in Dartmoor Barrows (0305 5795), , Vol. 36, (1978), 141

Source: Historic England

Other nearby scheduled monuments is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself. is a Good Stuff website.