A round cairn 190m north east of Cawsand Beacon forming part of a cairn cemetery on the summit of Cawsand Hill


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1010771

Date first listed: 01-Mar-1972

Date of most recent amendment: 06-Mar-1995


Ordnance survey map of A round cairn 190m north east of Cawsand Beacon forming part of a cairn cemetery on the summit of Cawsand Hill
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Devon

District: West Devon (District Authority)

Parish: South Tawton

National Park: DARTMOOR

National Grid Reference: SX 63725 91656


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. Round cairns are prehistoric funerary monuments dating to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They were constructed as earthen or rubble mounds, the latter predominating in areas of upland Britain where such raw materials were locally available in abundance. Round cairns may cover single or multiple burials and are sometimes surrounded by an outer ditch. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major visual element in the modern landscape. Their considerable variation in form and longevity as a monument type provide important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection. Dartmoor provides one of the best preserved and most dense concentrations of round cairns in south- western Britain.

Despite partial early excavation, the round cairn 190m north east of Cawsand Beacon survives comparatively 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.


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


This monument includes a round cairn 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 cairn mound measures 7m in diameter and stands up to 0.6m high. A hollow in the centre of the mound representing an early excavation is faced on two sides with large slabs which may represent the cist described by Falcon in 1905 as being 4ft long by 2ft wide. A ring of edge set stones around this cist is visible and may represent an internal kerb, which survives largely as a buried feature. Two stones set on edge on the eastern periphery of the mound may represent a second cist. Two ring cairns, a further round cairn and a platform cairn also lie on the summit 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.


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

Legacy System number: 24146

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Butler, J, 'Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities - The North' in Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, , Vol. 2, (1990), 206-207
Falcon, T A, 'Devonshire Association Transactions' in Dartmoor: A Note On Graves, , Vol. 37, (1905), 459
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX69SW84, (1986)
MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard,

End of official listing