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Ring cairn and two kerbed cairns on Bray Down

List Entry Summary

This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Ring cairn and two kerbed cairns on Bray Down

List entry Number: 1004241

Location

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

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County:

District: Cornwall

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Altarnun

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 17-Jun-1975

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM - OCN

UID: CO 863

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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

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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

Selected Sources

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

National Grid Reference: SX1883082184, SX1890282167, SX1896882171

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2017. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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This copy shows the entry on 20-Nov-2017 at 03:25:02.

End of official listing