Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Cairn south-east of Lower Piles

A Scheduled Monument in Harford, Devon

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Latitude: 50.4268 / 50°25'36"N

Longitude: -3.9087 / 3°54'31"W

OS Eastings: 264517.608435

OS Northings: 60287.356935

OS Grid: SX645602

Mapcode National: GBR Q7.WHPW

Mapcode Global: FRA 27PX.R1N

Entry Name: Cairn south-east of Lower Piles

Scheduled Date: 25 October 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013189

English Heritage Legacy ID: 10524

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Harford

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.2500-500 BC). To celebrate or commemorate
the dead, mounds of earth 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 cairn, south-east of Lower Piles, is a mound 9 m. in diameter with a
retaining kerb of seven stones, giving a total diameter of 13 m.. It is 0.5 m
high and has been disturbed in the centre.

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.
Despite some disturbance, this cairn is a well-preserved example on the
hillside, in close association with a cist and retaining circle. Its
relationship with other monuments of the same type and other ceremonial
monuments 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, 'Proc. Devon Arch. Soc.' in Dartmoor Barrows (0305 5795), , Vol. 36, (1978), 80

Source: Historic England

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