Two cairns forming part of the cairnfield on the western slope of White Hill
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
- Date of most recent amendment:
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- West Devon (District Authority)
- Peter Tavy
- National Park:
- National Grid Reference:
- SX 52604 83808
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,
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. Cairnfields are concentrations of three or
more cairns sited within close proximity to one another; they may consist of
burial cairns or cairns built with stone cleared from the land surface
(clearance cairns). Round funerary cairns were constructed during the Bronze
Age (c.2000-700 BC) and consisted of earthen or rubble mounds, sometimes
ditched, which covered single or multiple burials. Often occupying prominent
locations, they are a major visual element in the modern landscape. The
considerable variation in the size of cairnfields and their 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.
Despite evidence for partial excavation of some of the cairns, the cairnfield on the western slope of White Hill, to which these cairns belong, survives well and contains archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed. The lynchet and the field defined by the clearance cairns provide a valuable insight into Bronze Age agricultural activity.
This monument includes two cairns aligned east to west and situated on a
gentle west facing slope overlooking Lydford village. The western cairn mound
is ovoid in shape, is orientated east to west and measures 4m long, 2.7m wide
and stands up to 0.25m high. The eastern cairn mound is sub-circular in
shape, measures 5m in diameter and stands up to 0.55m high. These cairns form
part of a cairnfield, including twenty-six mounds and a lynchet.
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:
- Legacy System:
Books and journals
Fleming, A, 'Devon Archaeological Society Proceedings' in The Cairnfields of North-West Dartmoor, , Vol. 38, (1980), 9 - 12
Raymond, F, Single Monument Class Description - Cairnfields, (1987)
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