Ancient Monuments

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Cairn cemetery and earthwork bank 340m south west of Blackaton Brook Ford

A Scheduled Monument in Throwleigh, Devon

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Latitude: 50.6971 / 50°41'49"N

Longitude: -3.9201 / 3°55'12"W

OS Eastings: 264485.386435

OS Northings: 90359.795626

OS Grid: SX644903

Mapcode National: GBR Q7.BDSG

Mapcode Global: FRA 27P7.DM4

Entry Name: Cairn cemetery and earthwork bank 340m south west of Blackaton Brook Ford

Scheduled Date: 4 February 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018906

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28700

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Throwleigh

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: South Tawton St Andrew

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


The monument includes a cairn cemetery and sinuous linear earthwork bank
situated on a gentle east facing slope overlooking the valley of the Blackaton
Brook. The cairn cemetery survives as a linear cluster of six mounds standing
between 0.6m and 1.3m high. Three of the mounds are circular in shape with
their diameters varying between 4.5m and 8m. The remainder are oval with
lengths between 5.5m and 13m. Four of the mounds have been robbed or partially
excavated and an edge set stone in the centre of the northern cairn may
represent the remnants of a cist. The earthwork bank lies a short distance
upslope of the mounds and its alignment suggests that it is contemporary with
the cairns.

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,
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. Cairnfields are concentrations of three or
more cairns sited within close proximity to one another; they may consist of
burial cairns or cairns built with stone cleared from the land surface
(clearance cairns). Round funerary cairns were constructed during the Bronze
Age (c.2000-700 BC) and consisted of earthen or rubble mounds, sometimes
ditched, which covered single or multiple burials. Often occupying prominent
locations, they are a major visual element in the modern landscape. The
considerable variation in the size of cairnfields and their 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.

Despite partial excavation of four mounds, the cairn cemetery 340m south west
of Blackaton Brook Ford survives well and contains important archaeological
and environmental information relating to the monument and the landscape in
which it was built. Of particular interest is the associated linear earthwork
bank which may be denoting the upper edge of a ritual area associated with the

Source: Historic England


MPP Fieldwork by S. Gerrard, Gerrard, S., (1998)

Source: Historic England

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