Prehistoric round cairn 425m north of Furswain Farm
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1008121
Date first listed: 28-Mar-1994
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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:
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