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Round cairn on Browngelly Downs, 625m ESE of Higher Gillhouse Farm

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: Round cairn on Browngelly Downs, 625m ESE of Higher Gillhouse Farm

List entry Number: 1007478

Location

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

County:

District: Cornwall

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: St. Neot

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 08-Oct-1956

Date of most recent amendment: 21-Feb-1994

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 15262

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 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 large round cairn on Brown Gelly hill has survived substantially intact despite the limited and well-defined disturbance from the antiquarian excavation, and stone-robbing. The presence of an outlying slab near the cairn is unusual. This cairn is contained in one of the very few groups of large cairns on Bodmin Moor. The prominent setting of this group and the diversity of cairns included within it demonstrates well the nature of funerary practices during the Bronze Age and the relationship between cairn size and topographical setting. The proximity of this cairn to the broadly contemporary settlement sites and field systems on the Browngelly Downs shows well the relationship of funerary activity with farming and habitation during the Bronze Age.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a large prehistoric round cairn situated at the northern end of the broad summit ridge of Brown Gelly hill on southern Bodmin Moor. The cairn is the northernmost of a linear group of five large cairns arranged along the ridge. The round cairn survives with a circular mound of heaped rubble, 21m in diameter and up to 2m high; the mound has an inverted-bowl shape with largely turf-covered sides. The top of the mound has been truncated by an unrecorded antiquarian excavation and by relatively recent stone-robbing. This has produced a central hollow, 8m in diameter and up to 1m deep, filled with loose rubble. A nearby rubble mound, 1m in diameter, 0.1m high and located 2.75m beyond the cairn's SSE edge, contains debris from these recent disturbances. The cairn is accompanied by a single end-set granite slab, 0.5m high and tapered from a 0.4m square base, forming an outlier located 9.5m beyond the south-west edge of the mound. Beyond the area of this scheduling this linear group extends over 375m in a slight curve along the summit ridge of Brown Gelly, the nearest being located 35m to the south-east. Extensive broadly contemporary settlement sites and field systems are located on the eastern slope on the Browngelly Downs, 505m to the south-east.

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.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Trahair, J E R, 'Cornish Archaeology' in A survey of cairns on Bodmin Moor, , Vol. 17, (1978), 3-24
Other
Buxton, H.K., The Landscape History of Brown Gelly, Bodmin Moor, 1986, Unpubl. BA Disstn, Univ. Sheffield
consulted 1993, Carter, A./Fletcher, M.J./RCHME, 1:2500 AP plots and field traces for SX 1972 & SX 2072,
consulted 1993, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1770.1,

National Grid Reference: SX 19405 72847

Map

Map
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The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1007478 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 23-Oct-2017 at 02:40:37.

End of official listing