Round cairn and enclosure 930m south of Hound Tor


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1010781

Date first listed: 01-Mar-1995


Ordnance survey map of Round cairn and enclosure 930m south of Hound Tor
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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: Throwleigh

National Park: DARTMOOR

National Grid Reference: SX 62878 88141


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.

The round cairn and enclosure 930m south of Hound Tor survive well despite partial early excavation of the cairn. Archaeological and environmental information relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was erected, survive within both the enclosure and cairn.


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


This monument includes a round cairn attached to an enclosure situated on a gentle east facing slope overlooking Gallaven Mire. The cairn mound measures 8m in diameter and stands up to 0.6m high. This cairn is almost certainly the one excavated by the Dartmoor Exploration Committee in 1902, and because there are no earthworks surviving associated with their work, it must be assumed that the excavators reformed the mound into its present smooth outline. The excavation revealed a large cist measuring 2.1m long by 1.3m wide, which contained a 0.46m deep circular pit containing wood charcoal. The cairn is attached to an enclosure boundary wall which partly surrounds an area measuring 130m east to west by 105m north to south. Only three sides of the boundary are visible, with the southern side being either never completed or surviving as a buried feature. The eastern length includes a rubble wall measuring 1.4m wide and standing up to 0.5m high, whilst the northern length survives as a 3m wide and 0.5m high bank. The western length survives as a lyncheted bank measuring 3.7m wide overall, 0.4m high on the upslope and 0.8m high on the downslope. Field evidence suggests that the cairn and enclosure are contemporary and therefore the enclosure may have served some ritual purpose.

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: 22377

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Baring-Gould, S, 'Devonshire Association Transactions' in Eighth Report of the Dartmoor Exploration Committee, , Vol. 34, (1902), 164
Butler, J, 'Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities - The North' in Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, , Vol. 2, (1990), 149
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX68NW2, (1986)
MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard,
National Archaeological Record, SX68NW9,
Spooner's visit to the cist in 1960, Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX68NW2, (1986)

End of official listing