Craddock Moor stone circle and adjacent peat-stack platform 800m NNE of Trewalla Farm
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1010329
Date first listed: 28-Sep-1937
Date of most recent amendment: 26-Mar-1992
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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 24871 71829
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.
Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry 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.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: 15057
Legacy System: RSM
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
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,
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 Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing