Ancient Monuments

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Cairn cemetery 880m south west of Wallabrook Bridge

A Scheduled Monument in Gidleigh, Devon

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Latitude: 50.6652 / 50°39'54"N

Longitude: -3.9193 / 3°55'9"W

OS Eastings: 264454.9949

OS Northings: 86814.8116

OS Grid: SX644868

Mapcode National: GBR Q7.DF0F

Mapcode Global: FRA 27P9.T3Q

Entry Name: Cairn cemetery 880m south west of Wallabrook Bridge

Scheduled Date: 24 July 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017989

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28677

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Gidleigh

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Gidleigh Holy Trinity

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


The monument, which falls into nine areas, includes nine round cairns set in
two alignments situated on a gentle slope overlooking the valley of the River
North Teign. These mounds form a cairn cemetery situated within view of a
large number of other broadly contemporary ritual monuments. All of the mounds
are circular in shape, vary in diameter between 4m and 6.9m and stand between
0.4m and 1.1m high. Four of the cairns have shallow pits cut into their centre
indicating robbing or partial early excavation.

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 cairn cemetery 880m south west of Wallabrook Bridge survives well and
contains archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the monument
and the landscape in which it was constructed. It provides a valuable insight
into Bronze Age funerary and ritual activity as well as territorial control on
the Moor.

Source: Historic England


MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard, Gerrard, S., (1997)

Source: Historic England

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