Ancient Monuments

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Cairn and cist 425m north of Hen Tor

A Scheduled Monument in Sheepstor, Devon

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Latitude: 50.4743 / 50°28'27"N

Longitude: -3.9849 / 3°59'5"W

OS Eastings: 259252.117517

OS Northings: 65709.187097

OS Grid: SX592657

Mapcode National: GBR Q4.6G7K

Mapcode Global: FRA 27JS.Z8R

Entry Name: Cairn and cist 425m north of Hen Tor

Scheduled Date: 3 July 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014468

English Heritage Legacy ID: 24220

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Sheepstor

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


This monument includes a round cairn containing a cist, forming part of a
complex multi-period archaeological landscape on the north western slope of
Hen Tor overlooking the valley of the River Plym. The cairn mound is situated
on a small natural promontory, measures 4m in diameter, stands up to 0.6m high
and has been excavated to reveal a cist orientated north east to south west.
The interior of the cist measures 1.2m long, 0.75m wide and 0.2m deep.
Further archaeological features within the vicinity of this monument are the
subjects of other schedulings.
This monument is in the care of the Secretary of State.

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.

The round cairn and cist 425m north of Hen Tor survive well, form part of a
discrete group of cairns and are known from partial excavation to contain
archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the
landscape in which it was constructed. This monument forms part of a well
preserved, extensive and complex archaeological landscape.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1994), 147
Fitch, T, 'The Dartmoor Newsletter' in Hentor Warren Cists, , Vol. 25, (1995), 4
MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard, (1995)
Thackray, C., The Upper Plym Valley: The management of an historic landscape, 1994, Archaeological Site Inventory

Source: Historic England

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