Group of four round cairns 810m ENE of Sparretts Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1010240

Date first listed: 12-Mar-1992


Ordnance survey map of Group of four round cairns 810m ENE of Sparretts 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: St. Cleer

National Grid Reference: SX 24412 72097


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 group of four small round cairns on Craddock Moor survive substantially intact despite the earlier actions of stone robbers at the two larger cairns and they will retain many of its original features, including burial deposits. The cairns' importance is further enhanced by their situation within a wider grouping of differing but broadly contemporary classes of funerary and ceremonial monuments on Craddock Moor, demonstrating well both the diversity and the organisation of burial practice and ritual during the Bronze Age.


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


The monument includes a group of four small round cairns, part of a larger dispersed group of cairns situated on Craddock Moor on south-east Bodmin Moor. This group of cairns includes a close-spaced straight line of three cairns on an ENE-WSW axis, with the fourth cairn immediately west of the line's WSW end. All of the cairns are composed of heaped small and medium sized stone up to 0.3m across and all are well covered by intact turf and moss vegetation. The easternmost cairn survives as a circular mound, 6m diameter and 0.75m high. A hollow, 2.5m in diameter and 0.4m deep, slightly NW of the mound's centre is the only evidence for previous disturbance, the result of limited stone-robbing that has long since ceased. The central cairn in the line of three is separated from the eastern cairn by a gap of 2.5m and touches the edge of the cairn to its WSW. This small cairn survives as a circular mound 2.5m diameter and 0.4m high, with no evidence for any previous disturbance. The cairn at the WSW end of the line of three survives as a circular mound 6.5m diameter and 0.75m high. This cairn also has a central hollow, 2.5m diameter and 0.4m deep, from an early stone-robbing episode. The westernmost cairn in the group touches the edge of the cairn at the WSW end of the line of three and survives as a small circular mound, 2m diameter and 0.4m high, with no evidence for any disturbance. These cairns have been surveyed but not archaeologically excavated. They form part of a more dispersed group of seventeen cairns close to a Prehistoric embanked avenue. This cairn group is situated in the floor of a broad valley near the NW edge of an extensive area of funerary and ceremonial monuments typical of the early and middle Bronze Age (c.2000 - 1000 BC) on the Craddock and Rillaton Moors.

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: 15068

Legacy System: RSM


CAU/RCHME, The Bodmin Moor Survey, Unpubl. draft text. Ch.4, 1.3, fig 17
Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1291.04,
Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1291.05,
Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1291.06,

End of official listing