Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Chambered cairn at Ball Gate, Corringdon Ball

A Scheduled Monument in South Brent, Devon

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Latitude: 50.4365 / 50°26'11"N

Longitude: -3.875 / 3°52'29"W

OS Eastings: 266944.150726

OS Northings: 61309.135944

OS Grid: SX669613

Mapcode National: GBR QB.7SFX

Mapcode Global: FRA 27SW.S8J

Entry Name: Chambered cairn at Ball Gate, Corringdon Ball

Scheduled Date: 23 February 1953

Last Amended: 6 December 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013043

English Heritage Legacy ID: 10573

County: Devon

Civil Parish: South Brent

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: South Brent St Petroc

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


Many examples of prehistoric funerary monuments are preserved on Dartmoor,
mostly dating to the Bronze Age (c.2500-500), but some earlier examples
dating to the later neolithic also occur. To celebrate or commemorate the
dead, mounds of earth or stone were piled in roughly hemispherical or
elongated oval 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 chambered cairn, a rare earlier form of funerary monument on Dartmoor,
lies on a flattish neck of land on the 310m contour between Corringdon Ball
and Brent Fore Hill. It is orientated north-west/ south-east and consists
of a mound of earth and stone 65m in length and over two metres in height at
its higher, southern end. The traces of side ditches remain and the mound
tapers slightly from 17m in maximum width at the southern end. Excavations
have occurred around the chamber and again towards the northern end. Six
stones of the chamber remain; one upright is still in situ but the others
have been disturbed and the capstone has been displaced. These stones are up
to 2m in height and the capstone is about 3m long and 2m wide. It is
associated with two round cairns in the immediate 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 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.
Chambered cairns provide valuable evidence about the ceremonial and funerary
practices of the Middle Neolithic period (c.3000-2400BC). Together with the
examples on Bodmin these chambered long cairns represent the south-
westernmost distribution of a monument type which occurs as far north as the
Orkneys. This is one of the best preserved of only thirteen such monuments
known on the Moor. Its relationship to two other cairns in the immediate
vicinity and to other cairns and ceremonial monuments within a few hundred
metres 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 SX66SE-056,

Source: Historic England

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