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 relationship between settlement sites, field
systems, ceremonial and funerary monuments as well as later industrial remains
provides significant insights into successive changes in the pattern of land
use through time. Round cairns are funerary monuments covering single or
multiple burials and dating to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They were
constructed as mounds of earth and stone rubble up to 40m in external diameter
but usually considerably smaller; a kerb of edge-set stones sometimes bounds
the edges of the mound. Burials were placed in small pits, or on occasion
within a box-like structure of stone slabs called a cist, let into the old
ground surface or dug into the body of the cairn. Round cairns can occur as
isolated monuments, in small groups or in larger cemeteries. Their
considerable variation in form and longevity as a monument type provides
important information on the diversity of beliefs, burial practices and social
organisation in the Bronze Age. They are particularly representative of their
period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered
worthy of preservation.
This round cairn on the Browngelly Downs has survived substantially intact
despite the limited and well-defined disturbance from the antiquarian
excavation. The proximity of this cairn to those other broadly contemporary
cairns, settlement sites and field systems on the Browngelly Downs
demonstrates well the nature of funerary practices and their relationships to
farming practices and habitation during the Bronze Age.
The monument includes a prehistoric funerary round cairn situated on the
south-east lower slope of the Browngelly Downs on southern Bodmin Moor. The
cairn is located near another broadly contemporary round cairn and both cairns
are situated in an area containing traces of medieval cultivation ridges.
The round cairn survives with a largely turf-covered circular mound of heaped
rubble, 5.6m in diameter and up to 0.6m high. Unrecorded antiquarian
excavation has produced a near-circular central hollow, 1.5m in diameter and
0.2m deep and, on the cairn's western edge, an incurving hollow 2m wide,
extending 0.6m into the body of the mound. The hillslope on which this
monument is situated contains traces of medieval cultivation ridges, visible
as almost straight, parallel, low earthen banks, each 2-3m wide and up to 0.2m
high, separated by intervening furrows and running downslope, SW-NE. The
ridging extends almost to the edges of the cairn.
Beyond the monument, a second funerary round cairn is located 120m to the
south-west, while on the summit ridge of the Browngelly Downs, 530m to the
north-west, are five very large and prominent funerary cairns. Extensive
broadly contemporary settlement sites and field systems are located on the
eastern slope of the Downs, 160m to the north.
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.