Ancient Monuments

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Cist and retaining kerb south-east of Lower Piles

A Scheduled Monument in Harford, Devon

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.4265 / 50°25'35"N

Longitude: -3.9085 / 3°54'30"W

OS Eastings: 264535.139151

OS Northings: 60254.264869

OS Grid: SX645602

Mapcode National: GBR Q7.WPR2

Mapcode Global: FRA 27PX.R3Z

Entry Name: Cist and retaining kerb south-east of Lower Piles

Scheduled Date: 5 June 1972

Last Amended: 24 October 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013101

English Heritage Legacy ID: 10523

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Harford

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Details

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 example consists of a cist within the retaining kerb of a cairn about
4m. in diameter, remaining 0.3m. high. The cist lies slightly to the east
of the centre and is orientated south-east/north-west. Three of its side
stones are in place, the north-west end being formed by smaller stones,
possibly cairn material. The capstone is missing. It measures 1.2m. in
length, 0.6m. wide at the south-east end and 0.4m. wide at the north-west,
with a depth of 0.9m. The slabs are 0.2m. thick. The retaining kerb
consists of six orthostats, averaging 0.3m. high above the mound, with one
large stone on the downhill side a metre high.

MAP EXTRACT
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 the later industrial remains, gives significant insights into successive
changes in the pattern of land use through time.
This cist and retaining kerb, south of Lower Piles, are well-preserved
examples and their relationship with other ceremonial monuments, including
cairns and a stone alignment, indicates the wealth of evidence relating to
the ritual side of Prehistoric life on this part of the Moor.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Davidson, C J, Seabrook, R A G, 'Proc. Devon Arch. Soc.' in Stone Rings on South East Dartmoor, , Vol. 31, (1973), 28-34
Grinsell, L V, 'Proc. Devon Arch. Soc.' in Dartmoor Barrows (0305 5795), , Vol. 36, (1978), 140
Other
SX66SW-018,

Source: Historic England

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