Ancient Monuments

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Round cairn 400m south east of Higher White Tor

A Scheduled Monument in Dartmoor Forest, Devon

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Latitude: 50.5879 / 50°35'16"N

Longitude: -3.9474 / 3°56'50"W

OS Eastings: 262243.987752

OS Northings: 78274.78527

OS Grid: SX622782

Mapcode National: GBR Q5.5CT2

Mapcode Global: FRA 27MJ.207

Entry Name: Round cairn 400m south east of Higher White Tor

Scheduled Date: 2 July 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016637

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28720

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Dartmoor Forest

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Widecombe-in-the-Moor St Pancras

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


The monument includes a round cairn situated on a south east facing slope
overlooking the valley of the Cherry Brook. The cairn survives as a 7.3m
diameter mound standing up to 0.9m high. A small hollow in the centre of the
mound is the result of robbing or partial early excavation and material from
this activity lies on the northern side of the cairn.

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 400m south east of Higher White
Tor survives comparatively well and contains archaeological information
relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was built. The cairn
stands next to a spring which may indicate the significance of this water
source and certainly means that there are conditions conducive to the survival
of palaeoenvironmental remains.

Source: Historic England


Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX67NW275, (1994)

Source: Historic England

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