Two conjoined ring cairns on Synald's Knoll, 140m north-west of OS trig pillar.
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1007332
Date first listed: 25-Sep-1935
Date of most recent amendment: 20-Oct-1993
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Shropshire (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference: SO 40293 90283
Reasons for Designation
A ring cairn is a prehistoric ritual monument comprising a circular bank of
stones up to 20m in diameter surrounding a hollow central area. The bank may
be kerbed on the inside, and sometimes on the outside as well, with small
uprights or laid boulders. Ring cairns are found mainly in upland areas of
England and are mostly discovered and authenticated by fieldwork and ground
level survey, although a few are large enough to be visible on aerial
photographs. They often occur in pairs or small groups of up to four examples.
Occasionally they lie within round barrow cemeteries. Ring cairns are
interpreted as ritual monuments of Early and Middle Bronze Age date. The exact
nature of the rituals concerned is not fully understood, but excavation has
revealed pits, some containing burials and others containing charcoal and
pottery, taken to indicate feasting activities associated with the burial
rituals. Many areas of upland have not yet been surveyed in detail and the
number of ring cairns in England is not accurately known. However, available
evidence indicates a population of between 250 and 500 examples. As a
relatively rare class of monument exhibiting considerable variation in form,
all positively identified examples retaining significant archaeological
deposits are considered worthy of preservation.
Despite evidence of some disturbance by past exploration, the two conjoined ring cairns on Synalds Knoll survive well and are good examples of a relatively rare class of monument in England. The two cairns will preserve archaeological evidence relating to the use and development of the site and environmental evidence allowing an understanding of the landscape in which it was constructed. The barrows are of similar age to several other sepulchral monuments which occur on The Long Mynd and, as such, contribute information relating to the intensity of settlement and type of land-use in this area of upland during the Bronze Age.
The monument includes the remains of two contiguous ring cairns situated on
Synald's Knoll. The more westerly is the larger of the two and is visible as a
well defined circular mound of stone and earth construction with an overall
diameter of 14.4m. The mound sides rise steeply to form a rounded and partly
collapsed stone rim standing up to 1.2m high surrounding a central crater 5m
in diameter. This central hollowed area is disturbed and confused as a result
of exploration at some time in the past and the maximum depth of 0.7m may be
the result of this exploration. However a slight step in the crater sides at
0.2m below the rim edge probably represents the original level of the central
platform. The barrow is joined at its south-east quarter to a second smaller
ring cairn 9.6m in diameter. This comprises a well defined circular bank of
stone and earth construction, 2.5m wide and 0.5m high surrounding a central
hollow 4.6m in diameter and 0.3m deep.
Athough no longer visible at ground level, a ditch approximately 2m wide,
from which material was quarried during the construction of the monument
surrounds the ring cairns.
MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: 19090
Legacy System: RSM
Record no. 01241,
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 Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing