Round cairn 690m north-east of Sharpitor summit


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1007430

Date first listed: 08-Aug-1974

Date of most recent amendment: 11-Nov-1993


Ordnance survey map of Round cairn 690m north-east of Sharpitor summit
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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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: Walkhampton

National Park: DARTMOOR

National Grid Reference: SX 56416 70852

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 round cairn 690m north-east of Sharpitor summit survives well and contains archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed. The cairn forms an important constituent part of a diverse group of monuments including contemporary settlements, field systems and other funerary sites.


This monument includes a round cairn situated on a gentle south facing slope overlooking the valley of the River Meavy. The cairn mound measures 10m in diameter and stands up to 0.8m high. A few retaining stones are visible around the perimeter of the mound indicating the presence of a kerb which survives largely as a buried feature. The south-west side of the cairn has been partially excavated to reveal a cist orientated NNW to SSE. The interior of this cist measures 1.4m long, 0.6m wide and 0.4m deep.

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: 22267

Legacy System: RSM


Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX57SE18,
National Archaeological Record, SX57SE45,

End of official listing