Ancient Monuments

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Two round cairns 400m north west of Scorhill Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Gidleigh, Devon

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.6737 / 50°40'25"N

Longitude: -3.9014 / 3°54'5"W

OS Eastings: 265742.558346

OS Northings: 87729.853553

OS Grid: SX657877

Mapcode National: GBR Q7.CZJB

Mapcode Global: FRA 27Q9.7X2

Entry Name: Two round cairns 400m north west of Scorhill Farm

Scheduled Date: 4 February 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018908

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28702

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

Details

The monument includes two round cairns aligned NNE-SSW and is situated on a
gentle slope overlooking the valley of the North Teign River. The southern
cairn survives as a 0.75m high, flat topped oval mound measuring 12.8m east to
west by 11.7m north to south. Two separate rings of edge set stones are
visible within the mound. The inner ring measures 7.5m in diameter and is
composed of stones standing up to 0.5m high. The outer ring stands up to 0.35m
high and is 9.5m in diameter.
Both rings survive particularly well in the southern part of the cairn. The
second cairn lies 13m to the north east of the first and survives as a 12m
diameter, flat topped circular mound standing up to 0.6m high. Both mounds
have hollows cut into them suggesting partial early excavation or robbing.

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.

Despite evidence for partial excavation, the two round cairns 400m north west
of Scorhill Farm survive comparatively well and contain important
archaeological and environmental information relating to the monument and the
landscape in which it was built. The ridge location of the mounds combined
with their proximity to a stone circle and other cairns suggests that they may
have been part of an important ritual centre as well as significant early
territorial markers. The presence of two rings of edge set stones within the
body of one mound is very unusual and suggests that important structural
information may also survive.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Turner, J R, 'Devon Archaeological Society Proceedings' in Ring Cairns, Stone Circles and Related Monuments on Dartmoor, , Vol. 48, (1990), 83
Other
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX68NE90, (1986)

Source: Historic England

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