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Craddock Moor stone circle and adjacent peat-stack platform 800m NNE of Trewalla Farm

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: Craddock Moor stone circle and adjacent peat-stack platform 800m NNE of Trewalla Farm

List entry Number: 1010329

Location

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

County:

District: Cornwall

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: St. Cleer

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 28-Sep-1937

Date of most recent amendment: 26-Mar-1992

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 15057

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. Stone circles are prehistoric monuments comprising one or more circles of upright or recumbent stones. The circle of stones may be surrounded by earthwork features such as enclosing banks and ditches. Single upright stones may be found within the circle or outside it and avenues of stones radiating out from the circle occur at some sites. Burial cairns may also be found close to and on occasion within the circle. Stone circles are found throughout England, although they are concentrated in western areas, with particular clusters in upland areas such as Bodmin and Dartmoor in the south-west and the Lake District and the rest of Cumbria in the north-west. This distribution may be more a reflection of present survival rather than an original pattern. Where excavated they have been found to date from the Late Neolithic to the Middle Bronze Age (c.2400-1000 BC). It is clear that they were designed and laid out carefully, frequently exhibiting very regularly spaced stones, the heights of which also appear to have been of some importance. We do not fully understand the uses for which these monuments were originally constructed but it is clear that they had considerable ritual importance for the societies that used them. In many instances excavation has indicated that they provided a focus for burials and rituals that accompanied interment of the dead. Some circles appear to have had a calendrical function, helping mark the passage of time and seasons, this being indicated by the careful alignment of stones to mark important solar or lunar events such as sunrise or sunset at midsummer or midwinter. At other sites the spacing of individual circles throughout the landscape has led to a suggestion that each one provided some form of tribal gathering point for a specific social group. Of the 150 or so stone circles identified in England sixteen are located on Bodmin Moor. As a rare monument type which provides an important insight into prehistoric ritual activity all surviving examples are worthy of preservation.

The Craddock Moor stone circle survives substantially intact and has not been excavated. Its importance is considerably enhanced by its association with numerous other broadly contemporary ceremonial and funerary monuments on Craddock Moor and Rillaton Moor, demonstrating well the spatial organisation of such related activities during the Bronze Age. It has a further importance as a good example of a circle with stones which are graded in height to one sector, reflected in its frequent reference for this feature in national reviews of this monument type.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a near-complete stone circle with a post medieval peat-stack platform built into its north periphery, near the centre of Craddock Moor on south-east Bodmin Moor. The stone circle survives as a ring of 17 elongated granite boulders, 1.2m to 2.3m long, their bases distributed about an almost perfectly circular course, 39.3m in diameter. Sixteen of the stones are recumbent or leaning markedly and one is an upright broken stump; the stones show a grading in size with the largest in the NNW sector. Larger than average gaps in the stones' distribution occur in the NW, north, east and SSW parts of the circular course where stones have been removed, but the regular, closer spacing surviving to the NE, SE and west indicates the stones were originally spaced 4-5m apart and implies that the circle originally contained 27 stones. Turf-covered mounds considered to cover buried stumps occur at the locations of four of the missing stones. The large gap in the circle's north sector is partly filled by a small rectangular earthwork comprising an outer bank, 0.7m wide and 0.1m high, measuring 4.5m NE-SW by 3.9m NW-SE externally; the bank surrounds a ditch, 0.5m wide by 0.1m deep, which defines an almost square ground-level platform. Such earthworks are typical of platforms on which freshly-dug peat was stacked to dry, prior to removal from the moor for use as fuel, a practice that continued into the early 20th century. This monument has been surveyed and described on many occasions since its discovery in 1923 but it has not been excavated. It is in an isolated position situated in a slight saddle between low ridges near the centre of the Craddock Moor plateau, amid 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.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Barnatt, J, Prehistoric Cornwall: The Ceremonial Monuments, (1982), 198
Crossing, W, Crossing's Dartmoor Worker, (1992)
Sharpe, A, The Minions Area Archaeological Survey and Management (Volume 2), (1989), 282-5
Sharpe, A, The Minions Area Archaeological Survey and Management (Volume 2), (1989), 282-6
Andrew, C K C, 'J. Royal Inst. Cornwall' in , , Vol. XXV, (1938), 61
Burl, A, 'Stone Circles of the British Isles.' in Stone Circles of the British Isles, (1977), 341
Other
7/1991, Carter, A./RCHME, 1:2500 AP transcription for SX 2471,
Bowman, A., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Large Reg Stone Circles, (1990)
CAU/RCHME, The Bodmin Moor Survey, Unpubl. draft text. Ch.4, 1.3, fig 17
consulted 1992, Carter, A. RCHME, 1:2500 AP plot and field trace for SX 2571,
Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1233,
Herring, P., The Archaeological Heritage of Bodmin Moor, Unpubl. draft consulted 3/1991
Scheduling documentation: CO 280: Craddock Moor stone circle,

National Grid Reference: SX 24871 71829

Map

Map
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End of official listing