Ancient Monuments

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Cairn 190m west of Archerton

A Scheduled Monument in Dartmoor Forest, Devon

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Latitude: 50.5965 / 50°35'47"N

Longitude: -3.93 / 3°55'47"W

OS Eastings: 263500.777178

OS Northings: 79192.648822

OS Grid: SX635791

Mapcode National: GBR Q6.BXYX

Mapcode Global: FRA 27NH.8S1

Entry Name: Cairn 190m west of Archerton

Scheduled Date: 22 June 2004

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1021329

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34488

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 comprises a cairn situated on a north east facing slope
overlooking the valley of the East Dart River. The cairn survives as an
oval mound standing up to 0.6m high and measuring 6.8m north west-south
east by 5.2m north east-south west. The periphery of the mound is denoted
in places by edge set stones denoting the survival of a kerb. A further
edge stone within the interior of the mound may represent the remnants of
a cist. In the centre and towards the western side of the cairn is an
irregular shaped hollow representing the site of a partial early

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,
major 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. Round cairns are prehistoric funerary
monuments dating to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They were constructed as
earthen or rubble mounds, the latter predominating in areas of upland Britain
where such raw materials were locally available in abundance. Round cairns may
cover single or multiple burials and are sometimes surrounded by an outer
ditch. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major visual element in
the modern landscape. Their considerable variation in form and 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. Dartmoor provides one
of the best preserved and most dense concentrations of round cairns in south-
western Britain.

Despite partial excavation, the cairn 190m west of Archerton survives
comparatively well and will contain archaeological and environmental
information relating to this area during the prehistoric period. The
presence of the kerb confirms that structural information will survive. In
broader terms the monument also provides a valuable insight into Bronze
Age funerary and ritual activity as well as providing information
concerning territorial control on the Moor.

Source: Historic England


NMR, English Heritage, NMR Monument Report SX 67 NW 4, (2003)

Source: Historic England

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