Two round cairns on Cheriton Ridge 940m north and 500m east of Hoaroak.
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). 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 round cairns on Cheriton Ridge, 940m north and 500m east of Hoaroak, both survive well and are both in prominent locations along the ridge which indicates their territorial significance. Both will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to their construction, chronology, funerary practices and general landscape context.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 10 November 2015. The 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.
The monument, which falls into two separate areas of protection, includes two round cairns situated on the upper eastern slopes of Cheriton Ridge overlooking the valley of Hoaroak Water. The northern cairn survives as a circular stony mound which measures approximately 8m in diameter and because it is located on sloping ground varies in height from 0.7m to 1.6m. Some protruding stones close to the periphery might represent a kerb. The southern cairn lies a considerable distance from the northern one and survives as a circular stony mound measuring up to 9m in diameter and up to 1.4m high on the downslope side. Some larger stones on the western side are probably part of a retaining kerb.
Further archaeological remains in the vicinity are scheduled separately.