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. Platform cairns are funerary monuments covering single or
multiple burials and dating to the Early Bronze Age (c.2000-1600 BC). They
were constructed as low flat-topped mounds of stone rubble up to 40m in
external diameter. Some examples have other features, including peripheral
banks and internal mounds, constructed on this platform. A kerb of edge-set
stones sometimes bounds the edges of the platform, bank or mound, or all
three. Platform cairns occur as isolated monuments, in small groups, or in
cairn cemeteries. In the latter instances they are normally found alongside
cairns of other types. Although no precise figure is available, current
evidence indicates that there are under 250 known examples of this monument
class nationally. As a rare monument type exhibiting considerable variation in
form, a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of
This platform cairn by Draynes Common has survived substantially intact
despite the modern hedgebank clipping its extreme NNE periphery. The setting
of this cairn with respect to the broadly contemporary settlement sites and
field systems bordering the Draynes Common ridge demonstrates well the
relationship of funerary practices with settlement and farming activities
among prehistoric communities.
The monument includes a prehistoric funerary platform cairn with an outer bank
situated on the southern crest of a broad ridge largely occupied by Draynes
Common on southern Bodmin Moor. The monument also includes a medieval or later
worked stone slab re-used as a basal slab in the modern hedgebank passing
across the northern side of the cairn.
The cairn survives with a turf-covered circular platform of heaped rubble, up
to 14m in diameter and 0.25m high. Around the periphery of the platform is an
outer bank, up to 2m wide and 0.5m above the surrounding ground level. A
post-medieval hedgebank, accompanied along its southern side by a ditch, 1.5m
wide and 0.2m deep, crosses the NNE periphery of the cairn such that the
cairn's platform now survives to a width of 11.8m NNE-SSW.
The basal stone facing-courses of that part of the modern hedgebank contained
within the monument include a medieval or later slab bearing a pecked groove
around its exposed face. The slab is formed as a cuboid block of granite, its
exposed flat face measuring 0.6m square with an irregular projection, 0.1m
long, from one lower corner. This face bears a peripheral pecked groove, 3cm
wide and 1cm deep, delineating a near-square area measuring 0.45m wide and
0.4m high and 1cm deep. The block extends at least 0.5m into the hedgebank.
Beyond the monument, a broadly contemporary round cairn is located on the
south-west crest of the ridge, 320m to the north-west, while prehistoric hut
circle settlements and field systems are situated on the lower slopes
bordering the ridge from 1.1km to the WSW and 1.3km to the NNE.
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.