Ancient Monuments

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Round cairn on Soussons Down, 1.2km north west of Soussons

A Scheduled Monument in Dartmoor Forest, Devon

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Latitude: 50.6045 / 50°36'16"N

Longitude: -3.8712 / 3°52'16"W

OS Eastings: 267680.288072

OS Northings: 79979.767787

OS Grid: SX676799

Mapcode National: GBR Q9.X79F

Mapcode Global: FRA 27SG.MNM

Entry Name: Round cairn on Soussons Down, 1.2km north west of Soussons

Scheduled Date: 16 April 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018790

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28697

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Dartmoor Forest

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Manaton St Winifred

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


The monument includes a round cairn situated on a ridge separating the valleys
of the East Dart and West Webburn Rivers. The cairn measures 9.7m in diameter
and stands up to 0.6m high. A pit in the centre of the mound represents the
site of an unsuccessful partial excavation carried out by the Dartmoor
Exploration Committee in around 1897.

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 afforestation of the surrounding area, the
round cairn on Soussons Down, 1.2km north west of Soussons, survives well and
contains archaeological and environmental information relating to the monument
and the landscape in which it was built. The ridge location of the mound
suggests that it may together with others in the area have also been a
significant early territorial marker.

Source: Historic England


Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX67NE37, (1981)

Source: Historic England

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