Ancient Monuments

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Round cairn and cist on Black Down 1.6km east of Higher Bowden

A Scheduled Monument in Okehampton Hamlets, Devon

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Latitude: 50.7059 / 50°42'21"N

Longitude: -4.0212 / 4°1'16"W

OS Eastings: 257376.423804

OS Northings: 91533.303004

OS Grid: SX573915

Mapcode National: GBR Q1.BYQK

Mapcode Global: FRA 27G6.WR8

Entry Name: Round cairn and cist on Black Down 1.6km east of Higher Bowden

Scheduled Date: 9 February 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019227

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28750

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Okehampton Hamlets

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Okehampton All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


The monument includes a round cairn containing a cist situated on a gentle
west facing slope on Black Down overlooking the valley of the West Okement
river. The cairn measures 6m in diameter, stands up to 0.7m high and contains
a 0.9m long cist orientated NNW to SSE. The two edge slabs of the cist remain
in their original position, the side stones having been removed. A pit created
when the cist was damaged is filled with loose rubble. Around the north
western edge of the mound are a number of edge set slabs which represent the
remains of a kerb which survives elsewhere as a buried feature.

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 some disturbance, the round cairn and cist on Black Down 1.6km east of
Higher Bowden survive comparatively well and contain important archaeological,
structural and environmental information relating to the monument and the
landscape in which it was built.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Butler, J, 'Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities - The Second Millennium B.C.' in Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, , Vol. 5, (1997), 58

Source: Historic England

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