Ancient Monuments

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Cairn with a cist south-east of Plym Steps

A Scheduled Monument in Sheepstor, Devon

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Latitude: 50.4871 / 50°29'13"N

Longitude: -3.9689 / 3°58'8"W

OS Eastings: 260421.234331

OS Northings: 67101.203277

OS Grid: SX604671

Mapcode National: GBR Q5.CL9Q

Mapcode Global: FRA 27KR.ZJG

Entry Name: Cairn with a cist south-east of Plym Steps

Scheduled Date: 14 March 1962

Last Amended: 22 September 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012790

English Heritage Legacy ID: 10707

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Sheepstor

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


This cairn with a cist lies on a south-west facing slope above the confluence
of the River Plym and Langcombe Brook. The cairn is 5.5m in diameter and has
a retaining kerb of eight stones up to 0.2m in height. The coverstone lies on
the east side of the cist. The cist is irregular in shape measuring 0.7m in
length on the east side and 0.8m in length on the west side and 0.3m in width
at the south end and 0.6m in width at the north end. It is 0.6m in depth. A
similar cairn with a cist lies on the opposite side of the Langcombe Brook and
there are enclosures with hut circles and a cairn in the vicinity.

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 provide 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. Round cairns are prehistoric funerary
monuments dating to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They were constructed as
earthen or rubble mounds, the latter predominating in areas of upland Britain
where such raw materials were locally available in abundance. Round cairns may
cover single or multiple burials and are sometimes surrounded by an outer
ditch. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major visual element in
the modern landscape. Their considerable variation in form and longevity as a
monument type provide important information on the diversity of beliefs and
social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. They are
particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of
surviving examples are considered worthy of protection. Dartmoor provides one
of the best preserved and most dense concentrations of round cairns in south-
western Britain.

This cairn with a cist is a well preserved example and occupies a prominent
position on the hill slope. Its relationship to other monuments indicates the
wealth of evidence relating to the occupation and to the ritual side of life
on this part of the Moor.

Source: Historic England


SX 66 NW-048, (1990)

Source: Historic England

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