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Ring cairn 140m north east of Cawsand Beacon forming part of a cairn cemetery on the summit of Cawsand Hill

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: Ring cairn 140m north east of Cawsand Beacon forming part of a cairn cemetery on the summit of Cawsand Hill

List entry Number: 1010770

Location

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

County: Devon

District: West Devon

District Type: District Authority

Parish: South Tawton

National Park: DARTMOOR

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 01-Mar-1972

Date of most recent amendment: 06-Mar-1995

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 24145

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

Dartmoor is the largest expanse of open moorland in southern Britain and, because of exceptional conditions of preservation, it is also one of the most complete examples of an upland relict landscape in the whole country. The great wealth and diversity of archaeological remains provide direct evidence for human exploitation of the Moor from the early prehistoric period onwards. The well-preserved and often visible relationship between settlement sites, major land boundaries, trackways, ceremonial and funerary monuments as well as later industrial remains, gives significant insights into successive changes in the pattern of land use through time. A ring cairn is a prehistoric ritual monument comprising a circular bank of stones up to 20m in diameter surrounding a hollow central area. The bank may be kerbed on the inside, and sometimes on the outside as well, with small uprights or laid boulders. Ring cairns are found mainly in upland areas of England and are mostly discovered and authenticated by ground level fieldwork and survey, although a few are large enough to be visible on aerial photographs. They often occur in pairs or small groups of up to four examples. Occasionally they lie within round barrow cemeteries. Ring cairns are interpreted as ritual monuments of Early and Middle Bronze Age date. The exact nature of the rituals concerned is not fully understood, but excavation has revealed pits, some containing burials and others containing charcoal and pottery, taken to indicate feasting activities associated with the burial rituals. Many areas of upland have not yet been surveyed in detail and the number of ring cairns in England is not accurately known. However, available evidence indicates a population of between 250 and 500 examples. As a relatively rare class of monument exhibiting considerable variation in form, all positively identified examples retaining significant archaeological deposits are considered worthy of preservation.

The ring cairn 140m north east of Cawsand Beacon survives well and contains archaeological and environmental information relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was erected. This cairn forms part of the Cawsand Hill cairn cemetery, which includes at least two round cairns, two ring cairns and a platform cairn.

History

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

Details

This monument includes a ring cairn and cist situated on the summit ridge of Cawsand or Cosdon Hill. The cairn forms part of a cemetery including at least two round cairns, two ring cairns and one platform cairn. The earthwork survives as a 2m wide and 0.4m high rubble bank, faced with close set stones around its outer edge, surrounding a circular internal area measuring 18m east to west by 17m north to south. A mound measuring 6m in diameter and 0.2m high stands in the centre of the area enclosed by the circular bank and contains a stone cist with two slabs surviving. This cist was visited and described by Rowe in the first half of the 19th century and at this time it included an eight feet square structure apparently exhibiting traces of an inner coffin. A further ring cairn, two round cairns and a platform cairn also lie on the summit ridge of Cawsand Hill.

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
Rowe, S, A Perambulation of the Ancient and Royal Forest of Dartmoor86
Butler, J, 'Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities - The North' in Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, , Vol. 2, (1990), 206
Turner, J R, 'Devon Archaeological Society Proceedings' in Ring Cairns, Stone Circles and Related Monuments on Dartmoor, , Vol. 48, (1990), 71
Other
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX69SW24, (1993)
MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard,

National Grid Reference: SX 63709 91597

Map

Map
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The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1010770 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 23-Nov-2017 at 05:05:54.

End of official listing