Cairn on Piles Hill
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1012467
Date first listed: 06-Dec-1991
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: South Hams (District Authority)
National Park: DARTMOOR
National Grid Reference: SX 65356 61038
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, major 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. This is a well-preserved example and occupies a prominent position in a group of cairns on the brow of Piles Hill. Its relationship with these and other cairns and stone alignments in the area, indicates the wealth of evidence relating to the ritual side of life on this part of the Moor.
Many examples of prehistoric funerary monuments are preserved on Dartmoor,
mostly dating to the Bronze Age (c.2500-500BC). To celebrate or commemorate
the dead, mounds of earth or stone were piled in a roughly hemispherical
shape over the burial, which was sometimes contained in a small rectangular
structure, or cist, made of stone slabs. Some monuments also include
kerbstones marking the outer edge of the mound and a surrounding ditch. This
cairn lies north of two other larger cairns on the top of Piles Hill, it is
10 m. in diameter and 0.3 m. in height and grass-covered; it shows no
evidence of having been dug into and has a flattish top. The cairn is about
40 m. south of the stone alignment which runs up the eastern slope of Piles
Hill from the West Glaze 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: 10561
Legacy System: RSM
Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, 'Devon Archaeological Society Proceedings' in Dartmoor Barrows, , Vol. 36, (1978), 140
Devon County SMR SX66SE-342,
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 Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing