Prehistoric kerbed boulder 140m SW of the Goldiggings Quarry


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


Ordnance survey map of Prehistoric kerbed boulder 140m SW of the Goldiggings Quarry
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Cornwall (Unitary Authority)
St. Cleer
National Grid Reference:
SX 24733 72273

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.

Kerbed boulders are one of a diverse range of ceremonial monuments dating to the Bronze Age (c.2000 - 700 BC) . They were constructed as a setting of small upright stones, called orthostats, surrounding a natural ground-fast boulder. The orthostats either touch to form a continuous row or may be spaced apart. An outlying orthostat is known in one example. Kerbed boulders are a recently recognised monument type which combine elements known from other classes of contemporary ceremonial monument. These include the reverence of a natural outcrop evident in tor cairns and the construction of small orthostatic settings around funerary monuments, a common feature of cairns in south-west England. Only two examples are known nationally, both from south-eastern Bodmin Moor, associated with a large dispersed grouping of Bronze Age ceremonial and funerary monuments. As a very rare monument type which provides an important insight into the nature of Prehistoric ritual activity and beliefs, all surviving examples are considered worthy of preservation. The kerbed boulder near the Goldiggings Quarry has survived well with no evident penetrative disturbance to the monument. It has not been excavated but is well-documented, with a recent survey at 1:20 scale. Its proximity to a range of broadly contemporary ceremonial and funerary monuments demonstrates well the diversity of ritual practices during the Bronze Age.


The monument comprises a Prehistoric kerbed boulder situated amid a dispersed group of broadly contemporary ceremonial and funerary monuments on Craddock Moor on SE Bodmin Moor. The kerbed boulder is visible as a central sub-circular boulder encircled by a setting of spaced smaller stones, of which three are edge-set, called orthostats. The central boulder is a natural ground-fast rock, 3.5m in diameter, lying flat and projecting 0.2m from the ground surface. The stone setting comprises at least 10 stones arranged in an approximate circle, 6m in diameter, surrounding the boulder distances of 0.5m-1m. The stones show some regularity of spacing, centred 1.5m-1.75m apart with larger gaps at the south and SE where stones have been removed. The surviving stones are slabs up to 1.5m long, and 0.3m thick; the three orthostats, on the west, north and NE sides, stand 0.4-0.8m high. Three of these stones are almost wholly turf- covered, while another four have fallen over from upright positions. Situated 12m NNW of the kerbed boulder's centre is an outlying orthostat, a sub- triangular edge-set slab, 0.75m long, 0.3m thick and 0.75m high, whose edges are almost in line with the boulder's centre. The monument shows little evidence for disturbance, though the central boulder was used as a convenient flat surface by 19th century stone-splitters, propping a sub-triangular slab, 1.2m by 1.2m, on the boulder's southern corner.

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:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Sharpe, A, The Minions Area Archaeological Survey and Management (Volume 2), (1989)
Sharpe, A, The Minions Area Archaeological Survey and Management (Volume 2), (1989)
Sharpe, A, The Minions Area Archaeological Survey and Management (Volume 2), (1989)
CAU/RCHME, The Bodmin Moor Survey, Unpubl. draft text. Ch.4, 1.3, fig 17
consulted 6/1991, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1256,
consulted 9/1991, Carter, A./RCHME, 1:2500 AP transcription for SX 2474,


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

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