Round cairn east of Down Tor, 770m north east of Combshead Tor


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1009092

Date first listed: 30-Oct-1956

Date of most recent amendment: 06-Oct-2000


Ordnance survey map of Round cairn east of Down Tor, 770m north east of Combshead Tor
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Devon

District: West Devon (District Authority)

Parish: Walkhampton

National Park: DARTMOOR

National Grid Reference: SX 59195 69446


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. Round cairns are prehistoric funerary monuments dating to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They were constructed as earthen or rubble mounds, the latter predominating in areas of upland Britain where such raw materials were locally available in abundance. Round cairns may cover single or multiple burials and are sometimes surrounded by an outer ditch. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major visual element in the modern landscape. Their considerable variation in form and longevity as a monument type provide important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection. Dartmoor provides one of the best preserved and most dense concentrations of round cairns in south- western Britain.

Despite partial early excavation, the round cairn east of Down Tor, 770m north east of Combshead Tor survives comparatively well and contains important archaeological and environmental information relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was erected. This cairn lies in close proximity to a stone alignment, two other cairns, an enclosure and reave.


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


This monument includes a round cairn situated on a gentle west-facing slope of Hingston Hill overlooking Down Tor. The cairn mound measures 17m in diameter and stands up to 1.5m high. A hollow cut into the core of the mound measures 4m long, 3m wide, 1.2m deep and the sides are partly revetted. This pit is probably the result of partial robbing or an early excavation, although the results of the investigation are not known. The edges of the mound are steep sided indicating the presence of a kerb, which survives largely as a buried feature. A ditch, from which material was quarried during the construction of the cairn, surrounds the mound. This has become infilled over the years but is represented by a 1.5m wide band of rushes, on the northern side of the mound, caused by increased moisture in the buried ditch. This cairn is in direct line with the two terminal stones at either end of the stone alignment to the south west which is the subject of a separate scheduling (SM 24084).

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: 24122

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Worth, R H, Worth's Dartmoor, (1981), 212
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX56NE79, (1985)
MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard,
National Archaeological Record, SX56NE31,

End of official listing