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A cairn and cist 380m west and a cairn and standing stone 370m south west of Bellever Tor, forming an outlying part of a cairn cemetery

A Scheduled Monument in Dartmoor Forest, Devon

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Latitude: 50.5703 / 50°34'13"N

Longitude: -3.9198 / 3°55'11"W

OS Eastings: 264143.2285

OS Northings: 76266.846

OS Grid: SX641762

Mapcode National: GBR Q7.LDVT

Mapcode Global: FRA 27PK.DQ4

Entry Name: A cairn and cist 380m west and a cairn and standing stone 370m south west of Bellever Tor, forming an outlying part of a cairn cemetery

Scheduled Date: 21 January 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018508

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28684

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, which falls into two areas of protection, includes two cairns,
one containing a cist, and a standing stone lying on a gentle west facing
slope; prior to afforestation they would have overlooked the valley of the
Cherry Brook. The northern cairn survives as a 7.7m diameter and 0.8m high
mound denoted on its eastern side by at least five edge set stones standing up
to 0.35m high. In the centre of the mound is a substantial cist, measuring
1.4m long by 0.48m wide and 0.5m deep, which is aligned NNW to SSE. The
northern end stone appears to be missing and the eastern edge stone has
slipped inwards. To the west of the cist and partially overhanging it is a
substantial slab measuring 1.84m long by 1.48m wide and 0.35m thick. This
stone represents the capstone discarded during robbing. The cist had already
been disturbed before it was investigated by the Dartmoor Exploration
Committee in 1901.
The southern cairn survives as a 6m long by 5m wide mound standing up to
0.7m high. Two edge slabs on the northern side of the mound may represent the
remnants of a kerb, which survives elsewhere as a buried feature. An upright
stone slab situated 6.6m ESE of this cairn may be a contemporary standing
stone. The stone measures 0.95m high and 0.8m wide at the base, tapering to
0.2m wide at the top. It is 0.28m thick and its long axis points towards the
nearby 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 and limited disturbance as a result of nearby
afforestation to one of the mounds, the two cairns and standing stone west of
Bellever Tor survive well as part of a wider cairn cemetery. They will contain
archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the
landscape in which it was constructed. The monument provides a valuable
insight into Bronze Age funerary and ritual activity as well as providing
information concerning territorial control on the Moor.
Standing stones are relatively rare on Dartmoor, especially those associated
with cairns.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1991), 52-3
MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard, Gerrard, S., (1997)
National Archaeological Record, SX67NW44,

Source: Historic England

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