Two round cairns 1.38km WSW of Tresellern Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012212

Date first listed: 17-Feb-1993


Ordnance survey map of Two round cairns 1.38km WSW of Tresellern 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: Altarnun

National Grid Reference: SX 22349 76338


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. Round cairns are funerary monuments covering single or multiple burials and dating to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They were constructed as mounds of earth and stone rubble up to 40m in external diameter but usually considerably smaller; a kerb of edge-set stones sometimes bounds the edges of the mound. Burials were placed in small pits, or on occasion within a box-like structure of stone slabs called a cist, let into the old ground surface or dug into the body of the cairn. Round cairns can occur as isolated monuments, in small groups or in larger cemeteries. Their considerable variation in form and longevity as a monument type provides important information on the diversity of beliefs, burial practices and social organisation in the Bronze Age. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of preservation.

These round cairns on East Moor have survived substantially intact, with only limited and well-defined disturbance by the late 19th century excavation, whose published record increases our knowledge of these cairn's features. The proximity of this cairn to other broadly contemporary settlement sites demonstrates well the nature of ritual activities 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 two Prehistoric round cairns situated on the southern edge of East Moor on eastern Bodmin Moor, and positioned close to other broadly contemporary cairns and settlement sites. The two cairns are separated by a gap of 4.5m on a NNW-SSE axis. Each cairn survives as a turf-covered circular mound of heaped granite rubble. The northern cairn is 9m in diameter and 1m high. A limited excavation during the late 19th century, by the antiquary Baring-Gould, has produced a narrow trench, 1m wide and up to 0.5m deep, running in from the cairn's southern edge and leading to a central hollow 2.2m in diameter and 0.7m deep. The sides of the trench reveal the mound's densely packed rubble comprising small slabs up to 0.3m across. The larger southern cairn is 11.75m in diameter and 1.3m high. It was also subject to excavation by Baring-Gould, producing a trench 1.7m wide and up to 0.7m deep, running in from the cairn's south-eastern edge and rising towards the centre of the mound, without any distinct central hollow. This trench reveals a similar rubble make-up to the other cairn. Baring-Gould records that his excavation of one of these cairns revealed a peripheral kerb and a central granite cist, a slab-built box-like structure, containing ashes and burnt bone.

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: 15188

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Baring-Gould, Rev S, 'Journal of the Royal Institution of Cornwall' in , , Vol. 11, (1891), 290
Consulted 3/1992, Carter, A/RCHME, 1:2500 AP transcription for SX 2276,
Consulted 3/1992, Cornwall SMR entries for PRN 1017; 1018.2; 1062,
Consulted 3/1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1057.1,
Consulted 3/1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1057.2,

End of official listing