Ancient Monuments

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Double stone alignment with a large cairn south-west of Penn Beacon

A Scheduled Monument in Cornwood, Devon

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.4452 / 50°26'42"N

Longitude: -3.9799 / 3°58'47"W

OS Eastings: 259520.611928

OS Northings: 62468.569646

OS Grid: SX595624

Mapcode National: GBR Q4.8HGB

Mapcode Global: FRA 27KW.7B3

Entry Name: Double stone alignment with a large cairn south-west of Penn Beacon

Scheduled Date: 22 September 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017400

English Heritage Legacy ID: 10785

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Cornwood

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Details

Of the two elements of this monument the large cairn is the visually dominant
feature. It lies close to the head of a spring on the south-west slope of Penn
Beacon. A short double stone alignment extends down the slope from its south
side. The cairn consists of a mound of stones on a base of earth and stone
measuring 17m in diameter and up to 1.5m in height. It was opened in 1872 by
Spence Bate and Oliver and revealed a cist, a stone artefact and pottery
fragments. A short double stone alignment runs for some 15m from a point 2m
from the cairn and consists of four pairs of stones up to 0.4m in height,
which stand in two rows 1m apart. The spacing is irregular and there may be
stones missing; in its present form the row leads down the slope to end close
to a spring head.

MAP EXTRACT
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. Stone alignments or stone rows
consist of upright stones set in single file or in avenues of two or more
parallel lines, up to several hundred metres in length. They are often
physically linked to burial monuments, such as small cairns, cists and
barrows, and are considered to have had an important ceremonial function. The
Dartmoor alignments mostly date from the Late Neolithic period (c.2400-2000
BC). Some eighty examples, most of them on the outer Moor, provide over half
the recorded national population. Due to their comparative rarity and
longevity as a monument type, all surviving examples are considered nationally
important, unless very badly damaged.

The double stone row at Penn Beacon is one of the more unusual forms of
stone alignment with an exceptionally large cairn situated at one terminal.
Although partly excavated the cairn retains considerable archaeological
potential both in the preservation of the mound and the pre-mound surface.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
SX56SE-002, SX56SE-002, (1990)
SX56SE-126, SX56SE-126, (1990)

Source: Historic England

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