Prehistoric round cairn 425m north of Furswain Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1008121

Date first listed: 28-Mar-1994


Ordnance survey map of Prehistoric round cairn 425m north of Furswain Farm
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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 22389 71825

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.

The proximity of this round cairn on Furswain Farm to the other cairns, including a platform ciarn, on the summit of this hill demonstrates well the nature and diversity of funerary practices during the Bronze Age. Despite minor and well-defined disturbance from the former hedgebank on its NNW edge, the cairn's mound, buried land surface and associated deposits survive substantially intact.


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 cairn is visible as a turf-covered mound of heaped rubble, 12m in diameter and rising 0.1m above the surrounding thick peaty turf. The cairn is clearly distinguishable from the peaty turf by its short-grass turf over the better drained rubble mound. A post-medieval hedge-bank, recently levelled, formerly changed course on the northern edge of the cairn, running off to the WSW and the NNE. Despite its levelling, this former hedgebank remains visible as a slight earthen ridge, up to 1.5m wide and 0.1m high, accompanied by a ditch of similar width and up to 0.1m deep along its southern and eastern sides. This cairn is centred 77m north-west of a broadly contemporary platform cairn and 60m WSW of another round 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: 15237

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Trahair, J E R, 'Cornish Archaeology' in A survey of cairns on Bodmin Moor, , Vol. 17, (1978)
consulted 1992, Carter, A./CAU/RCHME, 1:2500 AP plot and field trace for SX 2271,
consulted 1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1239.1,
Title: 1": 1 mile Ordnance Survey Map; sheet 25, Tavistock Source Date: 1809 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: David & Charles facsimile, Sheet 90
Title: 1:10000 Ordnance Survey Map; SX 27 SW Source Date: 1982 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SX 27 (Bodmin Moor (East)) Source Date: 1963 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

End of official listing