Platform cairn with outer bank and central mound 740m NNE of Goodaver Farm
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1007777
Date first listed: 18-Apr-1994
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This copy shows the entry on 21-Mar-2019 at 07:32:47.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Cornwall (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference: SX 20923 75089
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 on the Goodaver Downs has survived well. Despite some evidence for very minor stone-robbing and perhaps an unrecorded antiquarian excavation about the central mound, the cairn retains its distinctive form. The presence of the kerb around the outer bank is unusual. This is one of the larger platform cairns on the Moor and will preserve an extensive area of buried prehistoric land surface; this will be supplemented by environmental data for subsequent periods preserved in the thick peat deposits about the periphery of the cairn. The proximity of the cairn to the Goodaver Stone Circle and to the broadly contemporary settlement sites and field systems on the valley side demonstrates well the relationships of funerary practices with ritual and farming activities among prehistoric communities.
The monument includes a prehistoric funerary platform cairn with an outer bank
and central mound situated near the highest point of the Goodaver Downs,
bordering the north-east side of the upper River Fowey valley on southern
The cairn survives with a largely turf-covered circular platform of heaped
rubble, up to 19.5m in diameter and 0.25m high above the surface of the thick
peat deposits which extend to the edges of the cairn. The periphery of the
platform supports an outer bank, up to 2m wide and 0.4m high. The outer edge
of the outer bank is marked by a kerb of small edge-set slabs, generally 0.1m-
0.15m high and spaced 2m-3m apart along the cairn's southern and western
perimeter; along the northern and eastern sectors, only occasional kerb slabs
are visible due to minor stone-robbing for the modern hedgebank passing close
to those sides of the cairn. At the centre of the platform is a heaped rubble
mound 10.5m in diameter and 0.5m above the platform's surface. The mound's
surface includes several irregular hollows, up to 0.2m deep, due to
stone-robbing or an unrecorded antiquarian excavation.
Beyond the monument, other broadly contemporary monuments include the Goodaver
Stone Circle, located 50m to the north-west, and prehistoric hut circle
settlements and field systems on the north-east side of the River Fowey
valley, from 150m to the south-west.
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: 15274
Legacy System: RSM
consulted 1993, Carter, A./Fletcher, M.J./RCHME, 1:2500 AP plots and field traces for SX 2074-5,
consulted 1993, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1115,
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