Two platform cairns and two round cairns on Ilkerton Ridge 560m west of North Furzehill Farm.
Reasons for Designation
Exmoor is the most easterly of the three main upland areas in the south western peninsula of England. In contrast to the other two areas, Dartmoor and Bodmin Moor, there has been no history of antiquarian research and little excavation of Exmoor monuments. However, survey work has confirmed a comparable richness of archaeological remains, with evidence of human exploitation and occupation from the Mesolithic period to the present day. Many of the field monuments surviving on Exmoor date from the later prehistoric period, examples including stone settings, stone alignments, standing stones, and burial mounds (barrows or cairns). Platform cairns are funerary monuments covering single or multiple burials and dating to the Early Bronze Age (c.2000-1600 BC). They were constructed as low flat-topped mounds of stone rubble up to 40m in external diameter. Some examples have other features, including peripheral banks and internal mounds, constructed on this platform. A kerb of edge-set stones sometimes bounds the edges of the platform, bank or mound, or all three. Platform cairns occur as isolated monuments, in small groups, or in cairn cemeteries. In the latter instances they are normally found alongside cairns of other types. Although no precise figure is available, current evidence indicates that there are fewer than 250 known examples of this monument class nationally. As a rare monument type exhibiting considerable variation in form, a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of preservation. Round cairns are funerary monuments dating from the Late Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age, with most examples belonging to the period 2400-1500BC. They were constructed as rubble mounds which covered single or multiple burials. They occur either in isolation or grouped as cemeteries, and often acted as a focus for burials in later periods. Over 370 barrows or cairns, varying in diameter from 2m to 35m, have been recorded on Exmoor, with many of these found on or close to the summits of the three east-west ridges which cross the moor - the southern escarpment, the central ridge, and the northern ridge. Individual cairns and groups may also be found on lower lying ground and hillslopes. Those which occupy prominent locations form a major visual element in the modern landscape.
Their longevity as a monument type can provide important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period. The two platform cairns and two round cairns on Ilkerton Ridge 560m west of North Furzehill Farm are important because both types of cairn are represented in a prominent location.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 10 November 2015. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.
This monument which falls into four areas includes two platform cairns and two round cairns situated between two higher summits on the prominent Ilkerton Ridge which forms the watershed between and is defined by the valleys of the rivers Barbrook and West Lyn. The easternmost is a platform cairn which survives as a circular stony platform measuring up to 16.5m in diameter and 0.2m high. On top is a circular stony mound measuring 12.5m in diameter and up to 1m high. The second platform cairn lies to the west of the first and survives as a circular platform measuring up to 21m in diameter and 0.2m high. This is topped by a stony circular mound up to 17m in diameter and 1.5m high. The southernmost is a round cairn which survives as a circular mound measuring up to 13m in diameter and 0.6m high. The top is uneven suggesting early partial excavation or robbing. The northernmost round cairn is a circular stony mound measuring 9.5m in diameter and 0.9m high. A slight hollow on the north-west side indicates early partial excavation or robbing.
Two further mounds are probably natural features and are not included in the scheduling. Further archaeological remains in the vicinity are also not included because they have not been formally assessed.