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Tor cairn forming part of a round cairn cemetery, and a stone hut circle on the summit of Cox Tor

List Entry Summary

This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Tor cairn forming part of a round cairn cemetery, and a stone hut circle on the summit of Cox Tor

List entry Number: 1011500

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Devon

District: West Devon

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Peter Tavy

National Park: DARTMOOR

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 27-Jun-1963

Date of most recent amendment: 09-Sep-1993

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 22225

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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.

Stone hut circles and hut circle settlements were the dwelling places of prehistoric farmers on Dartmoor. They mostly date from the Bronze Age, with the earliest examples on the Moor in this building tradition dating to about 1700 BC. The stone-based round houses consist of low walls or banks enclosing a circular floor area; remains of the turf or thatch roof are not preserved. The huts may occur singly or in small or large groups and may lie in the open or be enclosed by a bank of earth and stone. Although they are common on the Moor, their longevity and their relationship with other monument types provides important information on the diversity of social organisation and farming practices amongst prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection. Despite limited damage to the tor cairn and partial excavation of the stone hut circle, this monument survives comparatively well. The cairn is an important visual landmark and is one of the largest tor cairns on Dartmoor.

History

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

Details

This monument includes a tor cairn and small stone hut circle situated on the summit of Cox Tor. The cairn has a continuous bank of small stones measuring 9.5m wide and 2.5m high situated around a 13m diameter rock outcrop. The overall diameter of the cairn is 32m. The cairn has seen limited damage as a result of three small shelters being constructed into the cairn material. The largest of these measures 6m long by 2.3m wide and has been largely backfilled with stones. The other two are circular in plan and may be of relatively recent origin. An Ordnance Survey triangulation pillar sits on the eastern side of the cairn bank. This cairn forms part of a round cairn cemetery including two round cairns, two tor cairns and two ring cairns. The stone hut circle lies 11m north-east of the cairn and survives as an oval rubble bank. The interior of the structure measures 1.7m long by 1.5m wide and is defined by a rubble bank 0.9m wide standing up to 0.3m high. The doorway faces north. The Ordnance Survey triangulation pillar is excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath is included.

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.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1991), 83
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1991), 83-4
Baring Gould, S, 'Devonshire Association Transactions' in Fifth Report of the Dartmoor Exploration Committee, (1898), 105
Baring Gould, S, 'Devonshire Association Transactions' in Fifth Report of the Dartmoor Exploration Committee, (1898), 104-5
Grinsell, L V, 'Devon Archaeological Society Proceedings' in Dartmoor Barrows, , Vol. 36, (1978), 161
Other
Decon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX57NW40,
Gibson, A, Single Monument Class Description - Stone Hut Circles, (1987)

National Grid Reference: SX 53064 76185

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2017. 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 - 1011500 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 13-Dec-2017 at 03:41:19.

End of official listing