Cairn on Piles Hill

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012474

Date first listed: 17-May-1956

Date of most recent amendment: 22-Oct-1991

Map

Ordnance survey map of Cairn on Piles Hill
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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Location

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

County: Devon

District: South Hams (District Authority)

Parish: Harford

National Park: DARTMOOR

National Grid Reference: SX 65324 60833

Summary

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, 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 very large cairn on Piles Hill is a well-preserved example and occupies a prominent position on the summit of the hill; its size and form, a variant upon the Wessex Bell Barrow type, are extremely rare on the Moor. Its relationship to other large hilltop cairns, smaller cairns and stone aligments in the area, indicates the wealth of evidence relating to the ritual side of prehistoric life on this part of the Moor.

History

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

Details

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 very large cairn, 32 m. in diameter, is situated on the summit of Piles Hill. It consists of a central mound, 1.5 m. in height, on a stone and earth platform, with a 3 m. wide berm extending beyond the circumference of the mound and a bank of stones surrounding the whole monument. It is considered to be a variant of the Wessex Bell Barrow type.

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.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: 10559

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, 'Devon Archaeological Society Proceedings' in Dartmoor Barrows, , Vol. 36, (1978), 140
Other
Devon County SMR SX66SE-069,

End of official listing