Ancient Monuments

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Round cairn 280m south of Rex Stile Head

A Scheduled Monument in Luccombe, Somerset

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Latitude: 51.1693 / 51°10'9"N

Longitude: -3.5683 / 3°34'6"W

OS Eastings: 290446.607752

OS Northings: 142282.292248

OS Grid: SS904422

Mapcode National: GBR LD.6PTD

Mapcode Global: VH5K3.3WF0

Entry Name: Round cairn 280m south of Rex Stile Head

Scheduled Date: 23 April 2003

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020932

English Heritage Legacy ID: 35593

County: Somerset

Civil Parish: Luccombe

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset


The monument includes a prehistoric round cairn situated in open moorland
near the broad summit of Dunkery Hill at the eastern end of the Dunkery
Ridge. The round cairn forms an outlying member of a round cairn cemetery,
the centre of which is located about 650m to the north east along the
contour of the Ridge and forms the subject of a separate scheduling. The
cairn survives as a stoney mound 9.4m in diameter. The centre of the mound
has been hollowed, the stone having been removed, probably as a result of
antiquarian excavation or by robbing, giving the cairn the appearance of a
near circular bank 0.4m in height.

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

Despite some surface disturbance to the mound, the round cairn located
280m south of Rex Stile Head survives comparatively well and will contain
archaeological deposits together with environmental evidence relating both
to the monument 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 extends eastwards along the
Dunkery Ridge, and which includes the prominent Joaney How and Robin How

Source: Historic England


SS 94 SW 83, National Monuments Record,

Source: Historic England

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