Tor cairn on Newel Tor, 1.5km north of Siblyback Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1011314

Date first listed: 11-Nov-1993


Ordnance survey map of Tor cairn on Newel Tor, 1.5km north of Siblyback Farm
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1011314 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 21-Feb-2019 at 11:27:46.


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

District: Cornwall (Unitary Authority)

Parish: St. Cleer

National Grid Reference: SX 23639 74128

Reasons for Designation

Bodmin Moor, the largest of the Cornish granite uplands, has long been recognised to have exceptional preservation of archaeological remains. The Moor has been the subject of detailed archaeological survey and is one of the best recorded upland landscapes in England. The extensive relict landscapes of prehistoric, medieval and post-medieval date provide direct evidence for human exploitation of the Moor from the earliest prehistoric period onwards. The well-preserved and often visible relationships between settlement sites, field systems, ceremonial and funerary monuments as well as later industrial remains provides 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 a ring bank of stone rubble, up to 35m in external diameter, sometimes with an entrance and an external ditch, and roughly concentric around a natural rock outcrop or tor. In some cases a kerb of edge-set stones bounds the inner edge of the bank and the area between the bank and the outcrop was sometimes infilled 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 a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of preservation.

This tor cairn on Newel Tor has survived well with no evident or recorded disturbance. The proximity of this tor cairn to the broadly contemporary settlement sites and field systems on the eastern slopes of Newel Tor and in the Withey Brook valley demonstrates well the organisation of land use and the relationship between ceremonial and farming activities during the Bronze Age.


The monument includes a prehistoric tor cairn situated on the summit of Newel Tor on Siblyback Moor, south-east Bodmin Moor. The tor cairn is located against the northern side of a small granite stack that forms the eastern summit outcrop of Newel Tor. A rough wall of large, contiguous, single slabs, up to 0.75m high, extends over 4m in a curve across a natural angular recess in the stack's northern face. Concentric with the northern face of the stack and the slab-built wall is an almost semi-circular rubble bank, up to 1.7m wide and 0.4m high, incorporating occasional larger slabs and mostly turf-covered. The bank crosses the gentle slope north of the stack and measures 15m east-west externally, terminating at each end where it meets the natural boulder scree at the scarp to the outcrop's steeper southern slope. At its midpoint, the outer edge of the bank is 4.7m beyond the northern face of the stack and its incorporated slab-built wall. This leaves a level, turf-covered zone, 3m wide, between the bank's inner edge and the stack. This tor cairn is situated some 175m west of broadly contemporary prehistoric settlements, field systems and linear boundaries on the eastern slopes of Newel Tor and in the Withey Brook valley.

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: 15242

Legacy System: RSM


consulted 1992, Carter, A./RCHME, 1:2500 AP plot and field trace for SX 2374,
consulted 1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1238,

End of official listing