Three Prehistoric clearance cairns 885m north-west of Wardbrook Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1008821

Date first listed: 07-Aug-1992


Ordnance survey map of Three Prehistoric clearance cairns 885m north-west of Wardbrook 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: Linkinhorne

National Grid Reference: SX 24689 73595


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

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. Stone alignments or stone rows consist of upright stones set in a single line, or in two or more parallel lines, up to several hundred metres in length. They are often sited close to prehistoric burial monuments, such as small cairns and cists, and to ritual monuments, such as stone circles, and are therefore considered to have had an important ceremonial function. The seven stone alignments known on Bodmin Moor date from the Late Neolithic to Early Bronze Age periods (c.2400-1600 BC) and provide rare evidence of ceremonial and ritual practices on the Moor during these periods. Due to their rarity and longevity as a monument type, all examples that are not extensively damaged will be considered nationally important.

These three cairns have survived well, with only minor disturbance evident in the smaller cairn. The close proximity of the cairnfield containing these cairns to extensive Prehistoric field systems, settlement sites and other groups of cairns and its integration with them indicates their broad contemporaneity, demonstrating well the nature of agricultural practices and organisation of land use during the Bronze Age.


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


The monument includes three large Prehistoric clearance cairns, part of a dispersed cairnfield of ten similar cairns including a small funerary round cairn, situated near extensive Prehistoric field systems, linear boundaries, hut circles and cairns on the lower western slope of the Langstone Downs on SE Bodmin Moor. The three cairns form a triangular arrangement; the two larger cairns, both markedly oval, are situated 13.5m apart on a NE-SW axis with the third, near circular cairn 6m SE of the south-western cairn. All survive with mounds of well consolidated heaped rubble, largely turf-covered with few exposures of their stone content. The north-eastern cairn in this monument measures 11m east-west by 4m north-south and rises 0.6m high. The south-western cairn measures 7.5m NW-SE by 5m NE-SW and rises 0.5m high. The south-eastern cairn measures 4m NW-SE by 3m NE-SW and rises 0.3m high, with a shallow depression, 0.75m in diameter and 0.1m deep, in the top almost certainly resulting from an early antiquarian exploration. The three cairns included in this monument are situated at the south-eastern end of the larger dispersed group of cairns which is arranged in a horseshoe- shaped curve encompassing 0.75 hectare of gently sloping stone-free land. A large circular cairn at the northern end of the group, beyond the area of this monument, is of sufficient size and form to suggest a funerary function. Prehistoric field boundaries and cleared plots, incorporating other clearance cairns, extend to within 25m of this group on its SE, east and north sides.

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: 15123

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Bradley, R, The Prehistoric Settlement of Britain, (1978)
Trahair, J E R, 'Cornish Archaeology' in A survey of cairns on Bodmin Moor, , Vol. 17, (1978)
consulted 9/1991, Carter, A./RCHME, 1:2500 AP transcriptions for SX 2473 SX 2474 SX 2573,
consulted 9/1991, Cornwall SMR entries for PRN 1398 (NW edge);1274 (SE edge);1287,
Qualification consulted 9/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1264,

End of official listing