Ancient Monuments

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Cairnfield and enclosure 725m east of Cuckoo Rock

A Scheduled Monument in Sheepstor, Devon

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Latitude: 50.5019 / 50°30'6"N

Longitude: -3.988 / 3°59'16"W

OS Eastings: 259113.399839

OS Northings: 68786.038996

OS Grid: SX591687

Mapcode National: GBR Q4.4TNV

Mapcode Global: FRA 27JQ.XTW

Entry Name: Cairnfield and enclosure 725m east of Cuckoo Rock

Scheduled Date: 8 September 2003

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1021054

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34466

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Sheepstor

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


The monument includes a cairnfield and enclosure situated on a gentle west
facing slope of Eylesbarrow overlooking the valley of the Narrator Brook.
The cairnfield includes at least nine circular and oval mounds varying
between 0.4m and 0.8m high. The largest mound measures 5m long by 4m wide,
whilst the smallest is 2.9m in diameter. Five of the mounds are arranged
in a single line along the contour. The enclosure which incorporates two
of the cairns in its circuit survives as a sub-rectangular area measuring
26m long by 24m wide defined by a 1m wide rubble bank standing up to 0.5m
high. A 1m long, 0.25m thick and 0.7m high stone set through the southern
bank may represent the site of an original entrance.

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,
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. Cairnfields are concentrations of three or
more cairns sited within close proximity to one another; they may consist of
burial cairns or cairns built with stone cleared from the land surface
(clearance cairns). Round funerary cairns were constructed during the Bronze
Age (c.2000-700 BC) and consisted of earthen or rubble mounds, sometimes
ditched, which covered single or multiple burials. Often occupying prominent
locations, they are a major visual element in the modern landscape. The
considerable variation in the size of cairnfields and their 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.

The cairnfield and enclosure 725m east of Cuckoo Rock survive well and
together with nearby settlement sites, territorial boundaries and
ceremonial monuments provide an important insight into the nature of
Bronze Age occupation on the west side of the Moor.

Source: Historic England


MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard, Gerrard, S., (2002)

Source: Historic England

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