Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Cairn and cist on the northern side of Fernworthy Reservoir, 660m north west of Metherall

A Scheduled Monument in Chagford, Devon

We don't have any photos of this monument yet. Why don't you be the first to send us one?

Upload Photo »

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »

If Google Street View is available, the image is from the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the monument. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.


Latitude: 50.6434 / 50°38'36"N

Longitude: -3.886 / 3°53'9"W

OS Eastings: 266741.959765

OS Northings: 84334.885488

OS Grid: SX667843

Mapcode National: GBR Q8.MX2Y

Mapcode Global: FRA 27RC.MWZ

Entry Name: Cairn and cist on the northern side of Fernworthy Reservoir, 660m north west of Metherall

Scheduled Date: 9 February 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020058

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28753

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Chagford

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Chagford St Michael

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


The monument includes a cairn containing a cist situated on a gentle south
facing slope overlooking Fernworthy Reservoir. The cairn survives as a
circular bank up to 2.75m wide and 0.8m high, with overall dimensions of 12.8m
in diameter. A second raised area within this bank lies adjacent to a cist
which measures 1.02m long by 0.52m wide internally and is 0.73m deep. The cist
is orientated north west to south east and is partially obscured by the
original coverstone which was displaced in 1878 when the cairn was excavated.
These excavations revealed that the cairn had not been previously disturbed
and within the mound two cists were found. A flint knife and scraper were
recovered from the central cist. The second cist lay to the south east of the
first but was ransacked before its excavation could be completed. This cist
was removed to Torquay Museum, where it was reassembled and still remains on

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.

The cairn and cist on the north side of Fernworthy Reservoir, 660m north west
of Metherall survive well and are known from partial excavation to contain
important archaeological, structural and environmental information relating to
the monument and the landscape in which it was built. The cist in particular
represents a fine example of its type.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1991), 169

Source: Historic England

Other nearby scheduled monuments is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself. is a Good Stuff website.