Round cairn with orthostatic kerb and cist 482m SE of Trewortha Farm

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1009692

Date first listed: 03-Jun-1992

Map

Ordnance survey map of Round cairn with orthostatic kerb and cist 482m SE of Trewortha Farm
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Location

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

District: Cornwall (Unitary Authority)

Parish: North Hill

National Grid Reference: SX 24521 74988

Summary

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. Round cairns are funerary monuments covering single or multiple burials and dating to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They were constructed as mounds of earth and stone rubble up to 40m in external diameter but usually considerably smaller; a kerb of edge-set stones sometimes bounds the edges of the mound. Burials were placed in small pits, or on occasion within a box-like structure of stone slabs called a cist, let into the old ground surface or dug into the body of the cairn. Round cairns can occur as isolated monuments, in small groups or in larger cemeteries. Their considerable variation in form and longevity as a monument type provides important information on the diversity of beliefs, burial practices and social organisation in the Bronze Age. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of preservation.

This cairn on Kilmar Tor has survived well, displaying several unusual features, notably the combination of an oval mound, an intact orthostatic kerb and a well-preserved cist. There is no evident or recorded disturbance. It is not considered that the cist was originally covered by much more mound material than at present and though it is likely that the cist's contents and cover-slab have been removed, no antiquarian trenching is apparent and the cairn will retain intact its other sub-surface features, including any other burial deposits. This cairn`s proximity to broadly contemporary settlement sites and funerary monuments of various types demonstrates well the organisation of land use and the diversity of funerary practices during the Bronze Age.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a well-preserved cairn with an orthostatic kerb about a central cist situated near other similar cairns and close to Prehistoric field systems and settlement sites on the north-western lower slope of Kilmar Tor on eastern Bodmin Moor. The cairn survives with an oval mound of heaped rubble, measuring 6m east-west by 5m north-south and rising to 0.5m high. At the western end of the cairn's mound, a level circular area, 2.75m in diameter and 0.5m high, is defined by ten upright slabs, called orthostats, up to 1.1m high and spaced 0.1-0.5m apart forming a projecting kerb from which one orthostat has fallen over and a further four now lean markedly outwards. The edge of the cairn's mound drops steeply from the outer sides of the orthostats around the western half of this area. At the centre of the kerbed level area is an open, box-like structure called a cist, lined by single granite slabs on each side and the floor. The cist measures internally 1m NW-SE by 0.6m NE-SW and 0.75m deep.

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: 15109

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Trahair, J E R, 'Cornish Archaeology' in A survey of cairns on Bodmin Moor, , Vol. 17, (1978)
Other
consulted 9/1991, Carter, A./RCHME, 1:2500 AP transcriptions for SX 2475 & 2575,
consulted 9/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1012.01,
consulted 9/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1012.02,
consulted 9/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1012.05,
consulted 9/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1077,
consulted 9/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1288,

End of official listing