Ancient Monuments

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Round cairn on Watern Tor

A Scheduled Monument in Gidleigh, Devon

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.6648 / 50°39'53"N

Longitude: -3.9411 / 3°56'28"W

OS Eastings: 262907.876436

OS Northings: 86816.900637

OS Grid: SX629868

Mapcode National: GBR Q6.6FDM

Mapcode Global: FRA 27M9.Y54

Entry Name: Round cairn on Watern Tor

Scheduled Date: 8 December 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017482

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28661

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Gidleigh

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

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

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

Details

The monument includes a round cairn situated on high ground between the
Thirlstone and Watern Tor. The cairn survives as a flat topped, oval shaped
mound measuring 5.5m long by 5m wide and 0.7m high. A large granite slab
denotes the north eastern edge of the mound.

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. 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 on Watern Tor survives well and contains archaeological and
environmental information relating to this area during the prehistoric period.
This cairn is one of a relatively small number of cairns situated in a
prominent position within this part of Dartmoor and it is considered that as a
group they formed important territorial markers.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1991), 211

Source: Historic England

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