Prehistoric linear boundary and adjacent round cairn 938m north-west of Wardbrook Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1008845

Date first listed: 07-Aug-1992


Ordnance survey map of Prehistoric linear boundary and adjacent round cairn 938m 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 24760 73831, SX 24958 73842, SX 25001 73839


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. The linear boundaries on Bodmin Moor consist of stone banks, sometimes incorporating facing slabs or projecting end-set slabs called orthostats. They may be massively constructed, up to 8m wide and 1m high, although the majority are much slighter. Built during the Bronze Age (c.2000- 700 BC), they fulfilled a variety of functions. Some run at high altitudes along a contour and appear to separate lower land used for cultivation from that less intensively used. Some may be territorial, marking the boundaries of land held by particular social groups. Others may serve to delineate land set aside for ceremonial and religious activities such as burial. Frequently linear boundaries are associated with other forms of contemporary field system. They provide important information on the farming practices and social organisation of Bronze Age communities and form an important element of the existing landscape. A substantial proportion of examples which have survived are considered worthy of preservation.

This linear boundary on Langstone Downs has survived well and almost complete with only two minor breaks caused by later activity. The extensive peat growth about its upper end will preserve land surfaces and environmental evidence contemporary with its construction and use. Its close proximity to broadly contemporary field systems, cairns and settlement sites demonstrates well the nature of social organisation and land use during the Bronze Age.


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


The monument includes a Prehistoric linear boundary wall forming a major land division near other broadly contemporary linear boundaries, field systems, hut circle settlements and cairns on the western slope of the Langstone Downs on SE Bodmin Moor. A small round cairn is situated adjacent to the upper section of the boundary. The monument is divided into three separate areas. The linear boundary survives as a wall of heaped rubble and boulders, up to 2m wide and 0.5m high, incorporating occasional facing stones and end-set slabs, called orthostats, rising to a height of 0.75m. The boundary extends from an area of uncleared boulder rubble at the edge of the valley floor from which it follows a general alignment ENE, directly uphill, across the western slope of the Downs for 300m, reaching the edge of the gentler slope of the summit dome, from where it turns ESE, extending as a visible feature for a further 32m and covered by a thick peaty turf. Beyond this point, two more lengths of this boundary on the same alignment survive above the peat: after a 61m gap, a 19m length is visible, and 22m beyond that, a further 11m survives; this latter portion comprises almost contiguous orthostats to a height of 0.75m above the wall's almost, buried rubble core. The boundary includes numerous minor indents in its course. The largest of these irregularities, 35m from the wall's lower end, has a short length of rubble walling cutting off the rounded point of the indent. The round cairn is centred 5m south of the boundary wall near the point where it alters course on reaching the summit dome. The cairn survives as a small circular mound of heaped rubble, 4m in diameter and 0.3m high. The linear boundary is one of three similar Prehistoric walls, the other two being outside this monument, which form major subdivisions of the western slope of the Langstone Downs. Traces of the small irregular cleared plots and much slighter, discontinuous, walling of broadly contemporary field systems are visible within the area so divided. The course of the linear boundary is briefly interrupted at two points. Near its centre the wall is crossed by a mid-19th century copper-miners' water-course, called a leat, visible as a shallow ditch, 0.75m wide. A further 100m uphill, the trackbed cutting of a dismantled mid-19th century mineral railway causes a break 6.5m wide in the boundary wall. The surface of the dismantled mineral railway trackbed and the stoneware sink are excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath them is included.

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: 15129

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Sharpe, A, The Minions Area Archaeological Survey and Management (Volume 2), (1989)
consulted 9/1991, Carter, A./RCHME, 1:2500 AP transcription for SX 2473,
consulted 9/1991, Carter, A./RCHME, 1:2500 AP transcriptions for SX 2473 SX 2474 SX 2573,
consulted 9/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1274 (SE wall); 1287; 1428 (part),
consulted 9/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1398,
consulted 9/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1398.23,
consulted 9/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1428,

End of official listing