Prehistoric round cairn 865m NNE of Fernacre 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)
St. Breward
National Grid Reference:
SX 15151 80620

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 the south eastern slope of Roughtor has survived substantially intact with only limited disturbance from the antiquarian excavation. The presence of this cairn within a linear group containing other cairn types and the proximity of the group to other broadly contemporary ritual, funerary and settlement sites demonstrates the nature and diversity of ritual practices and their relationship to farming activities during the Bronze Age.


The monument includes a small prehistoric round cairn, one of a linear group of cairns situated on the lower south eastern slope of Roughtor in the upper valley of the De Lank River on north west Bodmin Moor. A disused post-medieval hollowed routeway passes by the north western edge of the cairn. The cairn survives with a circular mound of heaped rubble up to 4.5m in diameter and 0.4m high. A large flat slab, 1.9m long and 0.75m wide, lies on the north side of the mound. An unrecorded antiquarian excavation has produced a hollow up to 0.3m deep extending towards the centre from the mound's north eastern periphery, revealing two boulders, up to 0.6m long, buried at the centre. These boulders and the flat slab are considered to derive from a central box-like burial structure, called a cist. A disused, relatively recent routeway passes SW-NE by the cairn, touching its mound's north western edge. This routeway, visible as a turf-covered, flat- bottomed hollow 3m wide and 0.5m deep, is one of many disused former cart- tracks across the Moor. This round cairn is situated near the centre of a linear group of nine broadly contemporary small cairns arranged in an almost straight NNE-SSW alignment over 280m along a slight crest in the valley side, c.150m west of the De Lank River. The other eight cairns, beyond this monument, also include two ring cairns. The linear cairn group is located near other broadly contemporary settlement sites, field systems, funerary and ritual monuments on the slopes of Roughtor.

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:


1992, Carter, A/Fletcher, M J /RCHME, 1:2500 AP transcription and field trace for SX 1580,
consulted 1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 3521.5,
consulted 1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 3521.7,


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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