Prehistoric round cairn 435m north of Furswain Farm
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1008116
Date first listed: 02-Apr-1965
Date of most recent amendment: 22-Oct-1993
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Cornwall (Unitary Authority)
Parish: St. Cleer
National Grid Reference: SX 22441 71837
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. Round cairns are funerary monuments covering single or
multiple burials and dating to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They were
constructed as mounds of earth and stone rubble up to 40m in external diameter
but usually considerably smaller; a kerb of edge-set stones sometimes bounds
the edges of the mound. Burials were placed in small pits, or on occasion
within a box-like structure of stone slabs called a cist, let into the old
ground surface or dug into the body of the cairn. Round cairns can occur as
isolated monuments, in small groups or in larger cemeteries. Their
considerable variation in form and longevity as a monument type provides
important information on the diversity of beliefs, burial practices and social
organisation in the Bronze Age. They are particularly representative of their
period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered
worthy of preservation.
This round cairn on Furswain Farm has survived well. Despite the limited and well-defined disturbance from the antiquarian excavation, the cairn's mound, internal deposits and buried land surface will survive substantially intact. The recent dumping of boulders on top of the mound has not affected its sub- surface deposits. The proximity of the cairn to the other cairns, including a platform cairn, on the summit of this hill demonstrates well the nature and diversity of funerary practices during the Bronze Age.
The monument includes a prehistoric round funerary cairn situated near two
other broadly contemporary cairns on the summit of a small hill east of the
River Fowey valley on south-east Bodmin Moor.
The round cairn is visible as a turf-covered circular mound of earth and
heaped rubble, 12m in diameter and 1.2m high. An unrecorded antiquarian
excavation has produced a shallow hollow, up to 1.5m wide and 0.4m deep,
running east-west across the mound, passing north of the cairn's centre; a
small mound of spoil from that excavation is located 1m beyond the cairn's
north-west edge and measures 4m NE-SW by 2m wide and 0.1m high. Much of the
top of the cairn's mound is overlain by a quantity of boulders, several over
1m across, which have been dumped there after recent stone clearance and
hedge-removal in the vicinity. This cairn is centred 60m ENE of another round
cairn and 68m north of a platform cairn, together forming a loose grouping
about the hill's summit.
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: 15235
Legacy System: RSM
Books and journals
Trahair, J E R, 'Cornish Archaeology' in A survey of cairns on Bodmin Moor, , Vol. 17, (1978)
AM7 scheduling documentation for CO 624, 1964,
consulted 1992, Carter, A./CAU/RCHME, 1:2500 AP plot and field trace for SX 2271,
consulted 1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1239.2,
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