Ring cairn and two kerbed cairns on Bray Down

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1004241

Date first listed: 17-Jun-1975

Location Description: Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Map

Ordnance survey map of Ring cairn and two kerbed cairns on Bray Down
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1004241 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 10-Dec-2018 at 00:06:30.

Location

Location Description: Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Cornwall (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Altarnun

National Grid Reference: SX1883082184, SX1890282167, SX1896882171

Summary

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Bodmin Moor, the largest of the Cornish granite uplands, has long been recognised to have exceptional preservation of archaeological remains. The Moor has been the subject of detailed archaeological survey and is one of the best recorded upland landscapes in England. The extensive relict landscapes of prehistoric, medieval and post-medieval date provide direct evidence for human exploitation of the Moor from the earliest prehistoric period onwards. The well-preserved and often visible relationships between settlement sites, field systems, ceremonial and funerary monuments as well as later industrial remains provide significant insights into successive changes in the pattern of land use through time.

Ring cairns are ritual monuments comprising a circular bank of stones surrounding a hollow central area. The bank may be kerbed on the inside, and sometimes on the outside as well, with small uprights or boulders. Excavation has revealed the presence of pits, some containing cremation burials, within the central area. Ring cairns are contemporary with other Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC) funerary monuments on the Moor. Although no precise figure is available, current evidence indicates that there are only between 250 and 500 known examples of this monument class nationally.

Kerbed cairns are prehistoric funerary monuments dating to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They were constructed as stone mounds defined by an outer kerb of upright stones or walling covering single or multiple burials. These burials may be placed within the mound in stone-lined compartments called cists. In some cases the cairn was surrounded by a ditch. Often occupying prominent locations, kerbed cairns are a major visual element in the modern landscape. They are a relatively common feature of the uplands and are the stone equivalent of the earthen round barrows of the lowlands. 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. Despite partial early excavation and the construction of a triangulation pillar, the ring cairn and two kerbed cairns on Bray Down survive well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to their construction, relative chronologies, territorial significance, social organisation, ritual and funerary practices and overall landscape context.

History

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Details

The monument, which falls into three areas of protection, includes a ring cairn and two kerbed cairns, situated on the summit of the prominent hill called Bray Down. The western kerbed cairn survives as a circular stony mound measuring up to 23m in diameter and 1.8m high which incorporates a natural tor. It has a 1m deep central pit, and three upright stones to the north east may represent part of an outer retaining kerb.

The central kerbed cairn survives as a circular stony mound measuring up to 13m in diameter and 0.5m high with some visible stones from an outer retaining kerb. An Ordnance Survey triangulation pillar is set into the mound and is excluded from the monument, although the ground beneath is included.

The eastern ring cairn survives as a circular stony ring bank of up to 18m in diameter, 2.3m wide and 0.6m high and defined by inner and outer kerbs of stone. It surrounds a small central mound of 4m in diameter and 0.3m high.

Sources: HER:- PastScape Monument No:-434224

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: CO 863

Legacy System: RSM - OCN

End of official listing