Ancient Monuments

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Cairn 690m south west of White Barrow

A Scheduled Monument in Peter Tavy, Devon

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Latitude: 50.5941 / 50°35'38"N

Longitude: -4.0333 / 4°1'59"W

OS Eastings: 256182.474

OS Northings: 79125.750473

OS Grid: SX561791

Mapcode National: GBR Q1.KV4Y

Mapcode Global: FRA 27FH.JJ9

Entry Name: Cairn 690m south west of White Barrow

Scheduled Date: 12 March 2003

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020873

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34448

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Peter Tavy

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


The monument includes a cairn situated in a prominent position on Cocks
Hill overlooking the valley of the River Tavy. The cairn survives as a
stony mound measuring 15m in diameter and standing up to 0.8m high. Two
separate hollows which are the result of robbing or partial early
excavation lead into the mound from the south west and north west. On the
northern side of the cairn the monument is denoted by a 1.4m wide and 0.3m
high bank with some edge set stones which represent the site of a kerb;
this survives elsewhere as a buried feature.
A 2m by 2m irregularly shaped mound adjacent to the western side of the
cairn represents the site of a dump created during earlier investigations.
A 1.8m long by 1m wide and 0.25m deep hollow on the north western edge of
the cairn represents a shell hole from military training in this area
during the 20th century.

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 cairn 690m south west of
White Barrow survives well and contains archaeological and environmental
evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was
constructed. The cairn was also an important visual landmark for
travellers using the nearby ancient route known as the Lichway.

Source: Historic England


Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX57NE32, (1981)
MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard, Gerrard, S., (2002)

Source: Historic England

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