Cairn south-east of Shell Top

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012689

Date first listed: 23-Oct-1992

Map

Ordnance survey map of Cairn south-east of Shell Top
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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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: Cornwood

National Park: DARTMOOR

National Grid Reference: SX 59897 63733

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 provide 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. Round cairns are prehistoric funerary monuments dating to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They were constructed as earthen or rubble mounds, the latter predominating in areas of upland Britain where such raw materials were locally available in abundance. Round cairns may cover single or multiple burials and are sometimes surrounded by an outer ditch. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major visual element in the modern landscape. Their considerable variation in form and longevity as a monument type provide important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection. Dartmoor provides one of the best preserved and most dense concentrations of round cairns in south- western Britain.

This cairn occupies a prominent position on Shell Top. Its relationship to other cairns and to Shell Top Reave 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

This cairn lies a few metres south-east of Shell Top and consists of a natural boulder surrounded by granite blocks to form a cairn with a retaining kerb 10m in diameter. The central block of the cairn rises to 1.1m in height.

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: 10747

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Other
SX56SE-194, SX56SE-194, (1990)

End of official listing