Prehistoric linear boundaries, cairn and enclosure 1.225km north-west of Wardbrook Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1008982

Date first listed: 07-Aug-1992


Ordnance survey map of Prehistoric linear boundaries, cairn and enclosure 1.225km 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 24751 74149


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.

Enclosures are discrete plots of land enclosed by stone walls or banks of stone and earth, most of which date to the Bronze Age (c.2000 - 750 BC). They were constructed as stock pens or as protected areas for crop growing and were sometimes subdivided to accommodate animal shelters and hut circle settlements for farmers or herders. The size and form of enclosures may therefore vary considerably, depending on their function and date. Their variation in form, longevity and relationship to other monument classes provides important information on the diversity of farming practices at various stages in the development of land use on the Moor. These Prehistoric linear boundaries and their adjacent enclosure and cairn on the Langstone Downs have survived well, the only disturbance comprising a small and limited break in one boundary due to later activity and a minor, unrecorded disturbance to the cairn. The relationship within the monument between the linear boundaries and the enclosure illustrates well the development in land use during the Prehistoric period. The build-up of soil deposits by lynchetting and the development of an adjacent peat bog will preserve valuable environmental information contemporary with and subsequent to the monument's construction and use. The close proximity of the monument to other broadly contemporary linear boundaries, settlement sites and field systems 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 two Prehistoric linear boundaries, crossing each other, one with an adjacent small cairn, and a rectilinear enclosure extending from the junction between the boundaries. The monument is situated near other broadly contemporary linear boundaries, hut circle settlements, field systems and cairns on the north-western edge of the of the Langstone Downs on SE Bodmin Moor. Each of the linear boundaries survives as a bank of heaped rubble, up to 1.5m wide and 0.4m high, incorporating occasional edge-set facing slabs and small end-set stones, called orthostats, which project through the banks' rubble. One boundary forms most of the southern edge of the monument, extending for 230m on a general east-west course, almost directly uphill, but incorporating the numerous minor curves and angular irregularities that also characterise other linear boundaries beyond this monument on this hillside. The upper, eastern, end of this boundary curves round to the north to define the eastern half of a near semi-circle, 20m in diameter. An original break, 3m wide, occurs in this boundary 60m east of its western end; at that point the banks at each side of the break are arranged to form a `T-junction' with the gap at the centre. Another break, 7m wide, centred 55m from the boundary's eastern end, occurs where it is crossed by the trackbed of a mid- 19th century mineral railway. The cairn is located adjacent to the southern side of the boundary, 58m east of the original break. The cairn is visible as a small mound of heaped rubble, 3m in diameter and 0.4m high, its northern edge touching the boundary's southern side. The cairn has a slight hollow in its top, probably resulting from an early unrecorded antiquarian exploration. The southern end of the other linear boundary is located 28m SW of the cairn. After an initial westerly course for 11m, that boundary turns NNW, crossing the other boundary nearly at right angles after 22m, and extends for 97m along the contour. Then it turns to the ENE and continues for a further 85m, giving a total length of 193m. This boundary contains similar irregularities in its course and its southern end is well-marked by small orthostats, forming a contiguous row along this part of the rubble bank. Throughout its NNW-SSE course along the contour, the top and the uphill side of this boundary bank are masked by deposits brought down the hillslope under the combined effects of Prehistoric cultivation and gravity, a process called lynchetting, giving the boundary the appearance of a scarp up to 0.6m high. At both ends, the bank merges into the hillslope deposits without any visible extension. The enclosure is defined in part by the angle between the two linear boundaries. It is sub-rectangular in shape, measuring externally 69m WSW-ENE by 50m maximum NNW-SSE. Its southern wall comprises the western 70m of the predominantly east-west boundary, while its eastern wall comprises 44m of the other boundary, near the centre of its NNW-SSE section. Its northern and western walls have rather straighter and slighter rubble banks, up to 1.25m wide and 0.3m high. The eastern end of its northern wall curves away from the linear boundary and enters a small but deep peat bog, which engulfs much of its initial 15m, though stock trampling reveals its upper rubble. This northern wall extends westwards for 69m, then turns sharply SSE to form the enclosure's west wall. The west wall extends for 27m but stops 3.5m short of meeting the western end of the linear boundary. A later date for the construction of the enclosure than that of the linear boundaries is indicated by the differences in character and construction of their respective walling and also by the markedly greater scarping which occurs along the portion of linear boundary forming the enclosure's east wall than along the adjoining sections of the same boundary to both north and south. The character of the enclosure's north and west walls, and the burial of part of its north wall beneath a considerable peat deposit confirms that this sequence is wholly Prehistoric. The trackbed surface of the 19th century mineral railway is excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath it 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: 15135

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Sharpe, A, The Minions Area Archaeological Survey and Management (Volume 2), (1989), 155-174
consulted 1993, Cornwall SMR entries: PRN 1263 & 1398 (cairn adjoining NW wall),
consulted 9/1991, Carter, A./RCHME, 1:2500 AP transcriptions for SX 2473 & SX 2474,
consulted 9/1991, Cornwall SMR entries for PRN 1398(NW wall); 1274(SE wall); 1287,
consulted 9/1991, Cornwall SMR entries: PRN 1274/1288/1465+1464 (=not a stone row),
consulted 9/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1428,
Qualification consulted 9/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1264,

End of official listing