Round cairn on Stiperstones, 350m SSW of the Devil's Chair

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1007705

Date first listed: 07-Nov-1972

Date of most recent amendment: 04-Feb-1994

Map

Ordnance survey map of Round cairn on Stiperstones, 350m SSW of the Devil's Chair
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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Location

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

District: Shropshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Ratlinghope

District: Shropshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Worthen with Shelve

National Grid Reference: SO 36794 98795

Summary

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

Reasons for Designation

Round cairns are prehistoric funerary monuments dating to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They were constructed as stone mounds covering single or multiple burials. These burials may be placed within the mound in stone-lined compartments called cists. In some cases the cairn was surrounded by a ditch. Often occupying prominent locations, cairns are a major visual element in the modern landscape. They are a relatively common feature of the uplands and are the stone equivalent of the earthen round barrows of the lowlands. 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.

The round cairn on Stiperstones 350m SSW of The Devil's Chair survives well and is a fine example of this monument class. Despite being disturbed in its upper levels it will retain archaeological deposits and environmental evidence relating to the landscape in which the monument was constructed. It is one of several similar monuments which occur on Stiperstones, and, as such, contributes information relating to the density of settlement, type of land use, burial practices and social structure of the prehistoric community occupying this area of upland during the Bronze Age.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a substantial round cairn situated on the summit of Stiperstones, a narrow north to south orientated ridge of high ground. The cairn is visible as a large and well defined, flat topped stony mound 24m in diameter standing 1.7m high. Much of the fabric of the cairn is exposed showing it to be constructed of angular limestone blocks, the individual stones averaging some 0.3m in size. The western half of the cairn has an uneven surface and is heather covered. Two roughly circular hollows have been excavated to a depth of 0.9m in the south-west quarter. The northern half of the cairn is surmounted by a secondary mound or walled structure built of unweathered stones. It has a diameter of 7m and stands 1m above the level of the main cairn, the northern slope of this mound merges with that of the main cairn to give a uniform slope 2.7m high on the north side. The centre of this structure and the underlying cairn are hollowed to form a shooting butt 3m in diameter and 0.6m deep. The excavation of the cairn at this point has revealed a large natural boulder lying in situ beneath the cairn, it has dimensions of 1.8m long and 1.3m at its widest, tapering to a point and broken roughly two thirds along its length. It lies orientated east to west, the pointed end to the west. No ditch is visible surrounding the cairn from which material was quarried during the construction of the cairn though it is thought that one may survive as a buried feature approximately 3m wide.

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: 19114

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing