Ring cairn 50m north-east of White Hill summit forming part of the White Hill round cairn cemetery

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1008751

Date first listed: 25-Feb-1993

Map

Ordnance survey map of Ring cairn 50m north-east of White Hill summit forming part of the White Hill round cairn cemetery
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Location

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Devon

District: West Devon (District Authority)

Parish: Peter Tavy

National Park: DARTMOOR

National Grid Reference: SX 53427 83853

Summary

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

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. A ring cairn is a prehistoric ritual monument comprising a circular bank of stones up to 20m in diameter surrounding a hollow central area. The bank may be kerbed on the inside, and sometimes on the outside as well, with small uprights or laid boulders. Ring cairns are found mainly in upland areas of England and are mostly discovered and authenticated by ground level fieldwork and survey, although a few are large enough to be visible on aerial photographs. They often occur in pairs or small groups of up to four examples. Occasionally they lie within round barrow cemeteries. Ring cairns are interpreted as ritual monuments of Early and Middle Bronze Age date. The exact nature of the rituals concerned is not fully understood, but excavation has revealed pits, some containing burials and others containing charcoal and pottery, taken to indicate feasting activities associated with the burial rituals. Many areas of upland have not yet been surveyed in detail and the number of ring cairns in England is not accurately known. However, available evidence indicates a population of between 250 and 500 examples. As a relatively rare class of monument exhibiting considerable variation in form, all positively identified examples retaining significant archaeological deposits are considered worthy of preservation.

Despite evidence for partial excavation, the ring cairn 50m north-east of White Hill summit survives comparatively well and forms part of the White Hill round cairn cemetery which includes three ring cairns and nine round cairns.

History

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Details

This monument includes a ring cairn situated near the summit of White Hill. The earthwork appears as a flat internal area measuring 11m in diameter surrounded by a circular bank 2.3m wide and 0.15m high. A shallow hollow in the centre of the internal area suggests robbing or partial early excavation. This cairn forms part of the White Hill round cairn cemetery.

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.

Legacy

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 20343

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Other
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Ring Cairns, (1989)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX58SW25, (1981)

End of official listing