Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Round cairn 750m south east of Joaney How Cairn

A Scheduled Monument in Wootton Courtenay, Somerset

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Latitude: 51.1702 / 51°10'12"N

Longitude: -3.5541 / 3°33'14"W

OS Eastings: 291445.021378

OS Northings: 142370.729498

OS Grid: SS914423

Mapcode National: GBR LF.6FG2

Mapcode Global: VH5K3.BVY8

Entry Name: Round cairn 750m south east of Joaney How Cairn

Scheduled Date: 23 April 2003

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020928

English Heritage Legacy ID: 35589

County: Somerset

Civil Parish: Wootton Courtenay

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset


The monument includes a prehistoric round cairn situated in open moorland
on the lower south and east facing slope below the summit of Dunkery Hill.
The cairn forms an outlying member of a round cairn cemetery, the centre
of which is located approximately 750m to the north west on a level
plateau on the eastern side of Dunkery Hill and forms the subject of a
separate scheduling. The cairn has a circular earth and stone mound with a
diameter of 8m and a maximum height of 1m.

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

Exmoor is the most easterly of the three main upland areas in the south
western peninsula of England. In contrast to the other two areas, Dartmoor
and Bodmin Moor, there has been no history of antiquarian research and
little excavation of Exmoor monuments. However, survey work has confirmed
a comparable richness of archaeological remains, with evidence of human
exploitation and occupation from the Mesolithic period to the present day.
Many of the field monuments surviving on Exmoor date from the later
prehistoric period, examples including stone settings, stone alignments,
standing stones, and burial mounds (barrows or cairns).
Round cairns are funerary monuments dating from the Late Neolithic period
to the Late Bronze Age, with most examples belonging to the period
2400-1500BC. They were constructed as rubble mounds which covered single
or multiple burials. They occur either in isolation or grouped as
cemeteries, and often acted as a focus for burials in later periods. Over
370 barrows or cairns, varying in diameter from 2m to 35m, have been
recorded on Exmoor, with many of these found on or close to the summits of
the three east-west ridges which cross the moor - the southern escarpment,
the central ridge, and the northern ridge. Individual cairns and groups
may also be found on lower lying ground and hillslopes. Those which occupy
prominent locations form a major visual element in the modern landscape.
Their longevity as a monument type can 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

The round cairn located 750m south east of Joaney How Cairn survives
comparatively well and will contain archaeological deposits and
environmental evidence relating to the cairn and the wider landscape in
which it was constructed. The cairn is associated with a major round cairn
cemetery (a group of cairns sited in close proximity to one another) which
includes the prominent Joaney How and Robin How cairns.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of Somerset Archaelogical & Natural History Society' in Somerset Barrows, , Vol. 113, (1969), 43
SS 94 SW 20, National Monuments Record,

Source: Historic England

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