Cairn 410m south-west of White Tor summit

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1007429

Date first listed: 04-Nov-1993

Map

Ordnance survey map of Cairn 410m south-west of White Tor summit
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Location

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

County: Devon

District: West Devon (District Authority)

Parish: Peter Tavy

National Park: DARTMOOR

National Grid Reference: SX 54014 78316

Summary

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

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 and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection. Dartmoor provides one of the best preserved and most dense concentrations of round cairns in south- western Britain.

Despite evidence for partial excavation, the cairn 410m south-west of White Tor summit survives comparatively well and forms part of a widely dispersed group of at least fourteen cairns on the southern and eastern slopes of White Tor. This area contains abundant archaeological evidence relating to prehistoric settlement and land-use and this funerary monument is therefore an important constituent part of this Bronze Age upland landscape.

History

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

Details

This monument includes a cairn situated on a gentle south-facing slope overlooking the valley of the Colly Brook. The cairn mound measures 15m long by 6m wide and stands up to 1m high. A shallow hollow in both the northern and southern ends of the mound is probably the result of a partial excavation carried out by the Dartmoor Exploration Committee in 1899. This work revealed a pit containing ashes and charcoal. This cairn forms part of a widely dispersed group of at least fourteen cairns on the southern and eastern slopes of White Tor.

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.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: 20390

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1991), 96
Baring-Gould, S, 'Devonshire Association Transactions' in Sixth Report of the Dartmoor Exploration Committee, , Vol. 31, (1899), 152
Grinsell, L V, 'Devon Archaeological Society Proceedings' in Dartmoor Barrows, , Vol. 36, (1978), 160

End of official listing