Platform cairn with outer bank and central mound 740m NNE of Goodaver Farm


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


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

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 preservation.

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 Bodmin Moor. 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:
Legacy System:


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

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