Ancient Monuments

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Prehistoric round cairn on Caradon Hill, 520m north west of Heather House

A Scheduled Monument in Linkinhorne, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.5093 / 50°30'33"N

Longitude: -4.4396 / 4°26'22"W

OS Eastings: 227113.589908

OS Northings: 70566.471323

OS Grid: SX271705

Mapcode National: GBR NG.KCFL

Mapcode Global: FRA 17LQ.86N

Entry Name: Prehistoric round cairn on Caradon Hill, 520m north west of Heather House

Scheduled Date: 30 July 2003

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020940

English Heritage Legacy ID: 15583

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Linkinhorne

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Linkinhorne

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a prehistoric round cairn on the summit area of
Caradon Hill, a prominent hill on the south east edge of Bodmin Moor. The
cairn forms part of a large cairn group that extends south west from the
hill's summit and along its main spur.

The cairn survives with a low rounded mound up to 18.8m in diameter and to
1m high. Parts of the mound's original surface show a formerly
shallow-domed, almost flattened, profile however its present visible form
has been affected by post-medieval quarrying for wall stone. That has
lowered an area about 6m across at the centre of the mound though it
remains above the ground level surrounding the cairn, with discarded
rubble and soil heaped unevenly onto intact areas of the cairn's
periphery; several hollows pass across that periphery to give access to
the central quarried area.

This cairn is part of a wider group containing at least 19 prehistoric
cairns of various forms extending south west from the hill's summit and
along the spine and upper flanks of its main spur. The overall group
subdivides into two sub-groups: the ten cairns across the hill's summit
dome are relatively closely spaced on an overall alignment south west from
the summit, while the nine cairns along the hill's south western spur are
more widely spaced and scattered about a south westerly alignment shifted
to the south east from that of the summit cairns. The cairn in this
scheduling is located near the south west end of the cairns on the summit
dome. The further cairns within the wider cairn group are the subject of
separate schedulings.

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

Bodmin Moor, the largest of the Cornish granite uplands, has long been
recognised to have exceptional preservation of archaeological remains. The
Moor has been the subject of detailed archaeological survey and is one of the
best recorded upland landscapes in England. The extensive relict landscapes of
prehistoric, medieval and post-medieval date provide direct evidence for human
exploitation of the Moor from the earliest prehistoric period onwards. The
well-preserved and often visible relationship between settlement sites, field
systems, ceremonial and funerary monuments as well as later industrial remains
provides significant insights into successive changes in the pattern of land
use through time. Round cairns are funerary monuments covering single or
multiple burials and dating to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They were
constructed as mounds of earth and stone rubble up to 40m in external diameter
but usually considerably smaller; a kerb of edge-set stones sometimes bounds
the edges of the mound. Burials were placed in small pits, or on occasion
within a box-like structure of stone slabs called a cist, let into the old
ground surface or dug into the body of the cairn. Round cairns can occur as
isolated monuments, in small groups or in larger cemeteries. Their
considerable variation in form and longevity as a monument type provides
important information on the diversity of beliefs, burial practices and social
organisation in the Bronze Age. They are particularly representative of their
period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered
worthy of preservation.

The round cairn on Caradon Hill, 520m north west of Heather House, retains
extensive survival of its original features despite the impact of
post-medieval stone-robbers on its overall form. The original form of the
cairn is still evident and large parts of the mound remain unexcavated
around the central area. The present surface at the cairn centre lies
above the surrounding ground surface, consequently the prehistoric ground
surface and any features of the cairn let into that surface are expected
to survive beneath most of the cairn's area, as will the environmental
data it may contain. The cairn falls within the wider cairn group on
Caradon Hill, demonstrating well the major role of landscape settings in
prehistoric religious and funerary practices.

Source: Historic England


CAU, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1409, (2002)
CAU, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1411, (2002)
CAU/RCHME, 1:2500 Bodmin Moor Survey AP plots & Field Traces SX 2670 & 2770, (1984)
Title: 1:10000 Ordnance Survey Map SX 27 SE
Source Date: 2002

Source: Historic England

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