Ancient Monuments

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Cairn 250m SSE of the Ordnance Survey triangulation point on Beacon Hill

A Scheduled Monument in West Quantoxhead, Somerset

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Latitude: 51.1594 / 51°9'33"N

Longitude: -3.2515 / 3°15'5"W

OS Eastings: 312575.308479

OS Northings: 140763.940227

OS Grid: ST125407

Mapcode National: GBR LV.762D

Mapcode Global: VH6GX.L4D0

Entry Name: Cairn 250m SSE of the Ordnance Survey triangulation point on Beacon Hill

Scheduled Date: 7 February 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014127

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22084

County: Somerset

Civil Parish: West Quantoxhead

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset


The monument includes a cairn on the south side of Beacon Hill at the north
west end of the Quantocks.
The cairn forms part of a wider mixed cemetery on the hill which includes two
barrows and three cairns.
The cairn has a mound which is spread and measures c.12m in diameter and is
0.2m high. It was first identified by A T Wicks in 1933.

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

The area of the Quantock Hills, although small in extent, is one of the few
remaining expanses of open moorland in southern Britain. Its archaeological
importance lies in the existence of a landscape displaying examples of
monuments tracing the exploitation of the hills from the Bronze Age onwards.
Well-preserved monuments from the Bronze Age and Iron Age, including round
barrows, cairns, settlements, hillforts and a trackway, as well as later
industrial remains, give insights into changes in the pattern of land use on
the hills through time. These earthwork features are one of the key components
of the Quantocks' broader landscape character.
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. Twelve round cairns have been recorded
on the Quantocks, although the original figure is likely to have been higher.
They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial
proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.

Despite being spread, the cairn on Beacon Hill is integral to the wider mixed
cemetery and will contain archaeological remains and environmental evidence
relating to it and the landscape in which it was constructed.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Wicks, A T, Barrow Lore, (1933), 104-108

Source: Historic England

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