Three round cairns 610m south west of Black Tor

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1011169

Date first listed: 02-Jun-1994

Map

Ordnance survey map of Three round cairns 610m south west of Black Tor
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Location

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Devon

District: West Devon (District Authority)

Parish: Walkhampton

National Park: DARTMOOR

National Grid Reference: SX 56961 71301

Summary

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 for partial excavation of one mound, the three round cairns 610m south west of Black Tor, survive well and contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed. These cairns lie within an area containing a large number of well preserved contemporary cairns, stone alignments and settlements.

History

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

Details

This monument includes three round cairns situated on a gentle south-facing slope overlooking the valley of the River Meavy. The northern cairn mound measures 7.5m in diameter and stands up to 0.7m high. A few retaining stones are visible around the perimeter of the mound, indicating the presence of a kerb which survives largely as a buried feature. A slight hollow in the centre of the mound suggests partial early excavation or robbing. The southern cairn mound measures 4.7m in diameter and stands up to 0.7m high. A few stones set on edge around the western perimeter of this mound suggest that it too contains a kerb. The western mound lies 2m from the southern one and measures 3m in diameter and stands up to 0.5m high.

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.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: 22287

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Other
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX57SE100,
MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard,
National Archaeological Record, SX57SE77,

End of official listing