Ancient Monuments

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Four cairns 310m south of Horn's Cross forming part of a cairn cemetery on Holne Ridge

A Scheduled Monument in Holne, Devon

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Latitude: 50.5216 / 50°31'17"N

Longitude: -3.8788 / 3°52'43"W

OS Eastings: 266913.1189

OS Northings: 70777.5426

OS Grid: SX669707

Mapcode National: GBR Q8.WKCY

Mapcode Global: FRA 27RP.BQ6

Entry Name: Four cairns 310m south of Horn's Cross forming part of a cairn cemetery on Holne Ridge

Scheduled Date: 24 January 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019272

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28769

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Holne

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Holne St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


The monument, which falls into four areas of protection, includes four cairns
forming part of a cairn cemetery or cairnfield, situated on a gentle north
facing slope of Holne Ridge overlooking the valley of River Dart. The southern
cairn survives as a 16.5m long by 14m wide mound standing up to 1.4m high. A
pit in the north western side of the cairn represents the site of a partial
early undocumented investigation. The second cairn lies north of the first and
is of the ring type. It survives as a 4m wide rubble bank standing up to 0.9m
high surrounding an internal area measuring 11.9m in diameter. The remaining
two cairns lie to the north west. The closest one to the ring cairn is 4m in
diameter and stands up to 0.8m high, whilst the northern one is 6m in diameter
and 0.7m high. A small pit in the centre of the latter cairn represents the
site of an early undocumented investigation.

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 early undocumented investigation of at least two of the cairns,
the four cairns 310m south of Horn's Cross forming part of a cairn cemetery on
Holne Ridge survive well and contain important archaeological and
environmental information relating to the monument and the landscape in which
it was built.
These cairns form part of a group of visually impressive cairns situated
on high ground overlooking the largest and best preserved Bronze Age coaxial
field system on the Moor. The ring cairn is one of only 250-500 known examples

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
RCHME, , Holne Moor Survey carried out for DNPA, (1966)
RCHME, , Holne Moor Survey carried out for DNPA, (1966)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX67SE83, (1985)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX67SE84, (1993)

Source: Historic England

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