Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Cairnfield and field 1030m north west of Archerton

A Scheduled Monument in Dartmoor Forest, Devon

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Latitude: 50.602 / 50°36'7"N

Longitude: -3.9386 / 3°56'18"W

OS Eastings: 262906.669803

OS Northings: 79820.980245

OS Grid: SX629798

Mapcode National: GBR Q6.BG2N

Mapcode Global: FRA 27MG.Z9Y

Entry Name: Cairnfield and field 1030m north west of Archerton

Scheduled Date: 22 June 2004

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1021328

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34487

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Dartmoor Forest

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Widecombe-in-the-Moor St Pancras

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


The monument includes a cairnfield and field situated on a south east facing
slope overlooking the valley of the East Dart River. The cairnfield includes
two clusters containing four cairns each. The cairns are circular or oval in
shape and average 0.4m high. The associated field survives as an irregular
shaped area defined by a 2m wide rubble wall standing 0.2m high.

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 field 1030m north west of Archerton survive well and
will contain important environmental and archaeological information
relating to the colonisation of this area during the prehistoric period.
Deep peat deposits within this area mean that there are opportunities for
the preservation of material culture not usually found on the Moor.

Source: Historic England


NMR, English Heritage, NMR Monument Report SX 67 NW 223, (2003)

Source: Historic England

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