Ancient Monuments

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Round cairn and cist on the south west side of Crow Tor

A Scheduled Monument in Dartmoor Forest, Devon

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Latitude: 50.591 / 50°35'27"N

Longitude: -3.9718 / 3°58'18"W

OS Eastings: 260524.216086

OS Northings: 78662.713088

OS Grid: SX605786

Mapcode National: GBR Q3.Z5KD

Mapcode Global: FRA 27KH.Y6K

Entry Name: Round cairn and cist on the south west side of Crow Tor

Scheduled Date: 4 February 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016922

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28708

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 kerbed round cairn and cist situated on a south west
facing slope overlooking the West Dart River. The cairn measures 4.7m in
diameter, stands up to 0.4m high and is surrounded by a number of edge set
stones representing a kerb. In the centre of the cairn is a large cist with
maximum dimensions of 1.04m long by 0.6m wide and 0.6m deep. A large cover
slab which has been displaced now slightly overlaps the southern corner of the
cist and measures 1.5m long by 1.35m wide and 0.27m thick. The cist was part
excavated by the Dartmoor Exploration Committee in 1900 and a flint scraper
was recovered.

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 on the south west side of
Crow Tor survive well as a good example of its type and contains important
archaeological and environmental information relating to the monument and the
landscape in which it was built.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Butler, J, 'Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities - The Second Millennium B.C.' in Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, , Vol. 5, (1997), 196

Source: Historic England

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