A platform cairn 240m NNE of Cawsand Beacon forming part of a cairn cemetery on the summit of Cawsand Hill


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1010772

Date first listed: 01-Mar-1972

Date of most recent amendment: 06-Mar-1995


Ordnance survey map of A platform cairn 240m NNE 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 63706 91714


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 evidence of partial early excavation, the platform cairn 240m NNE 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.


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


This monument includes a platform 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 16.5m in diameter and stands up to 1m high. A hollow in the centre of the mound representing an early excavation has been largely backfilled with loose rubble to form a pile of stones measuring 3m in diameter and 1m high. The outer edge of the mound is faced with close set orthostats, many of which are leaning outwards away from the cairn, forming a kerb standing up to 0.7m high. A second kerb survives largely as a buried feature 1m inside the outer ring and is visible as four edge set stones in the western side of the mound. Two ring cairns and two round cairns 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: 24147

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Rowe, S, A Perambulation of the Ancient and Royal Forest of Dartmoor85-86
Butler, J, 'Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities - The North' in Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, , Vol. 2, (1990), 206-207
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX69SW50, (1993)
MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard,
National Archaeological Record, SX69SW16,

End of official listing