Prehistoric round cairn on the eastern outcrop of Bearah Tor

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1010361

Date first listed: 26-Jun-1992

Map

Ordnance survey map of Prehistoric round cairn on the eastern outcrop of Bearah Tor
© 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 26276 74662

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.

The round cairn on Bearah Tor survives well with no apparent disturbance. Its proximity to a series of broadly contemporary linear boundaries, field systems and settlement sites demonstrates well the pattern of land use during the Bronze Age.

History

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

Details

The monument comprises a small Prehistoric funerary cairn surrounding the easternmost tor of the Bearah Tor ridge. The cairn is situated near Prehistoric linear boundaries along the eastern slope of Bearah Tor on SE Bodmin Moor. The cairn survives as an oval arrangement of stone rubble, heaped up to 1.75m high against the vertical sides of subrectangular granite outcrop measuring 14m NE-SW by 9m NW-SE and standing 3m high. The periphery of the cairn's rubble is well defined, extending 6m from the NE face of the outcrop and 5m from its NW and SE faces, but only 2m from its SW face. On both the SW and SE sides, the rubble overrides the lower exposures of bedrock which border the outcrop on those faces. A layer of cairn rubble, largely turf covered, is also present on the irregular upper surface of the outcrop. A slender granite slab, 0.4m wide and 1m high, is wedged upright in a natural joint in the bedrock at the SE periphery of the cairn. The outcrop forming the focus of this cairn is the easternmost of an ENE-WSW linear succession of granite outcrops that crowns the summit of Bearah Tor.

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: 15085

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Other
consulted 7/1991, Carter, A./RCHME, 1:2500 AP transcription for SX 2674,
consulted 7/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1423,
consulted 7/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1426,
consulted 9/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1427.1,

End of official listing