Two round cairns 540m ENE of Sourton Tors
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
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This copy shows the entry on 16-Feb-2020 at 18:27:33.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- West Devon (District Authority)
- Okehampton Hamlets
- National Park:
- National Grid Reference:
- SX 54811 90021
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,
major 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. Round cairns are prehistoric funerary
monuments dating to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They were constructed as
earthen or rubble mounds, the latter predominating in areas of upland Britain
where such raw materials were locally available in abundance. Round cairns may
cover single or multiple burials and are sometimes surrounded by an outer
ditch. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major visual element in
the modern landscape. 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. Dartmoor provides one
of the best preserved and most dense concentrations of round cairns in south-
Despite evidence for partial excavation or robbing, the two round cairns 540m ENE of Sourton Tors survive comparatively well and contain important archaeological and environmental information relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was erected. These cairns form part of a dispersed group of cairns situated along the western slopes of Corn Ridge.
This monument includes two round cairns aligned east-west and situated on a
gentle north east facing slope of Sourton Tors overlooking the valley of the
West Okement River. The western cairn mound measures 4m in diameter and stands
up to 0.6m high. The eastern mound lies 1m from the other cairn, measures 3.3m
in diameter and stands up to 0.3m high. Shallow hollows in the centre of both
mounds suggest partial early excavation or robbing.
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:
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX58NW56,
MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard,
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