Cairn S of Royal Hill


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1002590

Date first listed: 01-Jan-1900


Ordnance survey map of Cairn S of Royal Hill
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Devon

District: West Devon (District Authority)

Parish: Dartmoor Forest

National Park: DARTMOOR

National Grid Reference: SX 61812 71945


A round cairn 745m south-east of Strane Head.

Reasons for Designation

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. Dartmoor provides one of the best preserved and most dense concentrations of round cairns in south- western Britain. Despite partial early excavation, the round cairn 745m south east of Strane Head survives well and has a prominent location. It will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, funerary and ritual practices, territorial significance and landscape context. The fact that it was re-used as a tin bound indicates its landscape significance as a well known landmark long after its original construction.


See Details.


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 11 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 includes a round cairn situated on the summit of a south eastern projection of Royal Hill overlooking the valley of the Strane River. The cairn survives as a circular stony mound measuring up to 16m in diameter and 2m high. There is a hollow in the mound indicating early partial excavation or robbing. There is a slight depression to the east indicating a mainly buried outer surrounding ditch. The cairn is variously known as ‘Broken Barrow’ or ‘Brokenborough’ and was one of the tin bounds for the Stannary of Plympton in the 17th century.

A further small cairn to the north west is not included in the scheduling because it has not been formally assessed.

Other archaeological remains in the vicinity are the subject of separate schedulings.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: DV 727

Legacy System: RSM - OCN


Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, Volume Four – The South-East , (1993), 230-233
PastScape Monument No:-443349

End of official listing