Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Cairn 500m NNW of Archerton

A Scheduled Monument in Dartmoor Forest, Devon

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Latitude: 50.6003 / 50°36'1"N

Longitude: -3.9303 / 3°55'48"W

OS Eastings: 263490.006308

OS Northings: 79624.3084

OS Grid: SX634796

Mapcode National: GBR Q6.BJ6J

Mapcode Global: FRA 27NH.2N3

Entry Name: Cairn 500m NNW of Archerton

Scheduled Date: 22 June 2004

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1021331

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34490

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 an east facing slope
overlooking the valley of the East Dart River. The cairn survives as a
4.8m diameter mound standing up to 0.6m high. A slight hollow just to the
north of the centre of the mound may represent the site of robbing or a
partial early excavation.

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 500m NNW of Archerton survives
comparatively well and will contain archaeological and environmental
information relating to this area during the prehistoric period. Situated
as it is within close proximity of several broadly contemporary
settlements, 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


SX67NW132, Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, (1994)

Source: Historic England

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