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Three round cairns on the summit of Langstone Downs

List Entry Summary

This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Three round cairns on the summit of Langstone Downs

List entry Number: 1010309


The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.


District: Cornwall

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Linkinhorne

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 26-Jun-1992

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 15086

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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 linear group of round cairns on Langstone Downs has survived reasonably well. Despite the limited actions of stone robbers and herdsmen, the cairns will retain many original features including burial deposits. Their proximity to extensive areas of broadly contemporary field systems and settlement sites on the southern flanks of Langstone Downs demonstrates well the pattern of- land use during the Bronze Age.


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


The monument includes a linear group of three adjoining round cairns situated on the summit of Langstone Downs near extensive areas of Prehistoric field systems and settlements on eastern Bodmin Moor. The cairns are arranged with their perimeters touching on an ESE-WNW axis on the hill's summit. Each is constructed of heaped stones up to 1m across, though mostly 0.5m across and smaller. The south-eastern cairn survives with a peripheral bank, 17m in external diameter, up to 2m wide and 0.5m high. The bank has several large edge-set slabs, called orthostats, leaning inwards along its inner edge and occasional smaller vertical orthostats along the southern half of its outer edge. Within the bank is a rubble platform, 0.3m high, on whose northern half stands a mound of heaped rubble, spreading up to the peripheral bank in that sector. The mound is 7m in diameter and stands up to 1.75m high, with a hollow 1m deep in its northern side resulting from modern stone robbing. The central and north-western cairns each survive as a circular mound of heaped rubble, lacking peripheral banks. The central cairn's mound is 17.5m in diameter and 2.25m high, with a stone-robbers' hollow 1m deep in its northern side. A small oval shelter has been constructed in the loose rubble at the top of the cairn; the shelter measures 5m by 3m and is 0.75m deep, probably used by medieval or later stock-herders. The north-western cairn's mound is 16m in diameter and up to 1.75m high. Although lacking robbing hollows, the rubble forming the upper surface of this cairn has been re-arranged to create three small oval shelters in an east-west line, each of similar size and depth as that in the central cairn.

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.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Trahair, J E R, 'Cornish Archaeology' in A survey of cairns on Bodmin Moor, , Vol. 17, (1978)
consulted 6/1991, Carter, A./RCHME, 1:2500 AP transcription for SX 2573,
consulted 7/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1398 & 1413,
consulted 7/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1398 & 1416,
consulted 7/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1413,
consulted 7/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1464,
consulted 7/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1465,

National Grid Reference: SX 25543 73793


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This copy shows the entry on 14-Aug-2018 at 08:48:10.

End of official listing