Tor cairn 170m south of Cox Tor summit forming part of a round cairn cemetery

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1011252

Date first listed: 23-Sep-1993

Map

Ordnance survey map of Tor cairn 170m south of Cox Tor summit forming part of a round cairn cemetery
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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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: Peter Tavy

National Park: DARTMOOR

National Grid Reference: SX 53001 76020

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 provides direct evidence for human exploitation of the Moor from the early prehistoric period onwards. The well-preserved and often visible relationship between settlement sites, 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. Tor cairns are ceremonial monuments dating to the Early and Middle Bronze Age (c.2000-1000 BC). They were constructed as ring banks of stone rubble, up to 35m in external diameter, sometimes with entrances and external ditches, and roughly concentric around natural outcrops or tors. In some cases a kerb of edge-set stones bounded the inner edge of the bank, and the area between the bank and the outcrop was sometimes in-filled by laying down a platform of stone rubble or turves. Excavated examples have revealed post-holes and pits within the area defined by the ring-bank, some containing burial evidence, and scatters of Bronze Age artefacts concentrated around the central tor. Tor cairns usually occur as isolated monuments, though several are associated with broadly contemporary cairn cemeteries. They are very rare nationally with only 40-50 known examples concentrated on the higher moors of Devon and Cornwall, where their situation in prominent locations makes them a major visual element in the modern landscape. As a rare monument type, all surviving examples are considered worthy of preservation.

The tor cairn 170m south of Cox Tor survives well and forms part of an important group of funerary monuments situated on the western side of Dartmoor.

History

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

Details

This monument includes a tor cairn and a length of boundary bank situated on a rocky terrace on the southern slope of Cox Tor. The cairn includes two banks of small to medium sized stones surrounding an 11m diameter rock outcrop. The first bank surrounds the base of the outcrop and measures 4m wide and 0.4m high. The outer bank measures 1.4m wide and stands up to 0.2m high. The two banks are separated by a 1.5m wide relatively stone-free area. The overall diameter of the cairn is therefore 24.8m. A rubble bank measuring 15m long, 1.2m wide and 0.4m high leads from the cairn eastward. This bank is probably contemporary with the cairn, and may represent part of a funerary enclosure.

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: 22237

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Other
MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard,
National Archaeological Record, SX57NW132,

End of official listing