Ancient Monuments

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Round cairn and cist 560m north of Grim's Grave

A Scheduled Monument in Sheepstor, Devon

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Latitude: 50.4861 / 50°29'10"N

Longitude: -3.9579 / 3°57'28"W

OS Eastings: 261198.188086

OS Northings: 66977.319162

OS Grid: SX611669

Mapcode National: GBR Q5.CWMK

Mapcode Global: FRA 27LS.3VH

Entry Name: Round cairn and cist 560m north of Grim's Grave

Scheduled Date: 18 September 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015751

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28791

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Sheepstor

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


This monument includes a round cairn containing a cist overlooking Deadmans
Bottom and forming part of a dispersed group of funerary monuments. The cairn
mound measures 5.5m in diameter, stands up to 0.6m and has been excavated to
reveal a cist orientated SSE to NNW. The cist is still covered by a large
cover slab, which measures 1.44m long by 0.94m wide. The cover slab has
however been displaced and now sits slightly diagonally over the cist. The
interior of the cist measures 0.86m long by 0.48m wide.
The edge of the cairn is denoted in at least two places by edge set stones
which indicate the presence of a kerb which may survive elsewhere as a buried

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.

Despite partial excavation the round cairn and cist 560m north of Grim's
Grave survives well, forms part of a discrete group of cairns and contains
archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the
landscape in which it was constructed. The survival of the cover slab on top
of the cist is an unusual characteristic. This monument forms part of a well
preserved, extensive and complex archaeological landscape.

Source: Historic England


Thackray, C., The Upper Plym Valley: The management of an historic landscape, 1994, Archaeological Site Inventory

Source: Historic England

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