Ancient Monuments

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Roundy Park prehistoric enclosure and cairn with cist, 560m north east of Archerton

A Scheduled Monument in Dartmoor Forest, Devon

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Latitude: 50.6006 / 50°36'2"N

Longitude: -3.9236 / 3°55'24"W

OS Eastings: 263964.342884

OS Northings: 79644.204063

OS Grid: SX639796

Mapcode National: GBR Q6.BKXC

Mapcode Global: FRA 27NH.57X

Entry Name: Roundy Park prehistoric enclosure and cairn with cist, 560m north east of Archerton

Scheduled Date: 25 May 1962

Last Amended: 22 June 2004

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1021332

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34491

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 prehistoric enclosure and cairn with cist situated
on an east facing slope overlooking the valley of the East Dart River. The
enclosure survives as a D-shaped area denoted by a rubble wall measuring
between 3.5m and 5m wide and standing up to 0.6m high. The interior of the
enclosure measures 114m east-west by 102m north-south and contains at
least seven structures, some of which may represent the remains of stone
hut circles. The enclosure wall is surmounted by a post-medieval drystone
wall standing up to 1.6m high and a post-medieval leat or drain which cuts
through the northern part of the enclosure.
Adjacent to the north western side of the enclosure is a cairn containing
a cist. The cairn survives as a 5.5m diameter stony mound standing up to
0.8m high. A large cist denoted by seven edge slabs stands within the
mound and measures 1.5m long by 1.2m wide and 0.7m deep. The cist is
orientated NNE-SSW and is covered by two large slabs. The present form of
the cist is the result of restoration work carried out by Robert Burnard,
whose 1893 excavation revealed two small flint flakes and some burnt
bones. A number of large edge stones around the western, southern and
eastern sides of the cist represent a kerb.

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. Cists are small rectangular stone
structures used for burial purposes and date to the Bronze Age. On Dartmoor
they are made up of regular stone slabs forming a box-like structure sometimes
topped by a larger coverstone. Short cists survive as free-standing monuments,
with no enclosing stone and earth cairn. On Dartmoor cists are also associated
with cairns, ring cairns and cairnfield groups, but these free-standing
examples form a separate group in their own right. Their longevity, having
been in use for a millennium or so, provides insight into the range of
ceremonial and ritual practices of the contemporary farming communities. The
Dartmoor examples provide one of the best preserved and most dense
concentrations of this class of monument in south-western Britain and, as
such, a high proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of

Within the landscape of Dartmoor there are many discrete plots of land
enclosed by stone walls or banks of stone and earth, most of which date to
the Bronze Age (c.2000-700), though earlier and later examples also exist.
They were constructed as stock pens or as protected areas for crop growing
and were sometimes subdivided to accommodate stock and hut circle
dwellings for farmers and herdsmen. The size and form of enclosures may
therefore vary considerabley depending on their particular function. Their
variation in form, longevity and relationship to other monument classes
provide important information on the diversity of social organisation and
farming practices amongst prehistoric communities. They are particularly
representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving
examples are considered worthy of protection.
Despite later reuse of the enclosure and partial excavation and
restoration of the cist, the Roundy Park prehistoric enclosure and cairn
with cist, 560m north east of Archerton, survive comparatively well and
will contain archaeological and environmental information relating to this
area during the prehistoric period. The cist is one of the largest on the
Moor and its position immediately adjacent to the enclosure is unusual,
providing crucial information regarding both ritual and domestic activity.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1991), 41
Butler, J, 'Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities - The Second Millennium B.C.' in Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, , Vol. 5, (1997), 22
MPP Fieldwork by S. Gerrard, Gerrard, S., (2003)

Source: Historic England

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