Prehistoric funerary cist 1.275km NW of Wardbrook Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012043

Date first listed: 04-Dec-1992


Ordnance survey map of Prehistoric funerary cist 1.275km NW of Wardbrook Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Cornwall (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Linkinhorne

National Grid Reference: SX 24813 74281


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

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 relationship 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.

Prehistoric funerary cists are box-like rectangular stone structures used for burial purposes during the Bronze Age (c.2000-750 BC). They are made from flat stone slabs, edge-set to form the four sides, and sometimes topped by a larger coverstone. The smaller cists usually have sides formed from a single slab each, whereas the longer cists may include several slabs in each side. Where excavated, some cists have produced human skeletal remains or cremation deposits, sometimes accompanied by pottery vessels and other grave goods such as copper or bronze knives, stone axes and jet buttons and beads. Cists have a particularly frequent association with the distinctive `Beaker' pottery of the early Bronze Age (c.2000-1600 BC). Cists are commonly contained within the mounds of funerary cairns but free-standing examples form a separate group in their own right. The national distribution of free-standing cists shows them to be most frequent in northern England, with another concentration on Dartmoor. On Bodmin Moor they are much rarer; of the 33 known cists on Bodmin Moor, only two are freestanding. In common with the Dartmoor cists, those on Bodmin Moor are constructed from local granite slabs. Cists provide important insights into the range and development of funerary and ceremonial practices during the Bronze Age. As rare examples at the edge of their national distribution, both free-standing cists on Bodmin Moor are considered worthy of protection.

This cist on the Langstone Downs has survived substantially intact as one of only two free-standing cists on Bodmin Moor. It shows no evidence for any deliberate disturbance and the natural gullying from the marsh edge affects only the extreme northern periphery of the cist. Its situation, deeply embedded in a thick peat soil, will preserve many of the cist's original features. The peat will also contain layers rich in environmental evidence contemporary with and subsequent to the cist's construction. The proximity of the cist to other broadly contemporary funerary monuments, including cairns with cists, and to Bronze Age field systems and settlement sites, demonstrates well the diversity of burial practices and the organisation of land use during the Bronze Age.


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


The monument includes a Prehistoric short cist situated near other broadly contemporary funerary monuments, some also including cists, and close to extensive Prehistoric field systems and settlements on the NW edge of the Langstone Downs on SE Bodmin Moor. The cist is visible as a rectangular setting of edge-set slabs, well-embedded in the thick peaty turf, forming a box-like arrangement measuring internally 0.8m NNW-SSE by 0.5m ENE-WSW. The long sides of the cist are formed from a single slab each. The WSW slab measures 0.75m long and stands 0.4m high; the ENE slab is 1m long and leans markedly due to subsidence such that its 0.6m width rises only 0.2m above the ground. The slab forming the cist's SSW side is 0.5m long and stands 0.4m high. The north side of the monument is situated on the edge of a marshy gully through the peat into which the slab which formerly closed that side of the cist is thought to have subsided. An additional edge-set slab, 0.5m long and projecting 0.2m above the peat surface, is situated 0.75m south of the cist's SSE slab and orientated parallel to it, forming a marker at one end of the cist. The modern post and wire fence is excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath it 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.


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

Legacy System number: 15175

Legacy System: RSM


consulted 1/1992, Carter, A./RCHME, 1:2500 AP transcriptions for SX 2473-5 & 2573-5,
Consulted 1/1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 3159.06,

End of official listing