Ancient Monuments

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Tor cairn 50m north east of Hookney Tor

A Scheduled Monument in North Bovey, Devon

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Latitude: 50.617 / 50°37'1"N

Longitude: -3.8403 / 3°50'25"W

OS Eastings: 269902.249563

OS Northings: 81310.201882

OS Grid: SX699813

Mapcode National: GBR QC.2H7B

Mapcode Global: FRA 27VF.MPV

Entry Name: Tor cairn 50m north east of Hookney Tor

Scheduled Date: 11 December 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019996

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34429

County: Devon

Civil Parish: North Bovey

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: North Bovey St John the Baptist

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


The monument includes a tor cairn situated on Hookney Tor from which there are
extensive views in all directions. The cairn forms part of a discrete cluster
of mounds situated along a prominent ridge. This cairn includes a rubble bank
attached to the southern face of a rock outcrop. The ring bank survives as a
2m wide curving earthwork standing up to 0.8m high enclosing a`D'-shaped area
measuring 12m long east to west by 6m wide north to south. The tor itself
measures 6m wide and up to 0.9m high.

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 provides 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.
Tor cairns are ceremonial monuments dating to the Early and Middle Bronze Age
(c.2000-1000 BC). They were constructed as ring banks of stone rubble, up to
35m in external diameter, sometimes with entrances and external ditches, and
roughly concentric around natural outcrops or tors. In some cases a kerb of
edge-set stones bounded the inner edge of the bank, and the area between the
bank and the outcrop was sometimes in-filled by laying down a platform of
stone rubble or turves. Excavated examples have revealed post-holes and pits
within the area defined by the ring-bank, some containing burial evidence, and
scatters of Bronze Age artefacts concentrated around the central tor. Tor
cairns usually occur as isolated monuments, though several are associated with
broadly contemporary cairn cemeteries. They are very rare nationally with only
40-50 known examples concentrated on the higher moors of Devon and Cornwall,
where their situation in prominent locations makes them a major visual element
in the modern landscape. As a rare monument type, all surviving examples are
considered worthy of preservation.

The tor cairn 50m north east of Hookney Tor survives well and is one of only
five known examples on Dartmoor where the ring banks are attached to the face
of a tor. This cairn is one of a cluster of large cairns situated in a
prominent position within this part of Dartmoor. It is considered that as a
group they formed significant territorial markers.

Source: Historic England


Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX68SE47, (1987)

Source: Historic England

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