Cairn with a cist south-east of Plym Steps


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012790

Date first listed: 14-Mar-1962

Date of most recent amendment: 22-Sep-1992


Ordnance survey map of Cairn with a cist south-east of Plym Steps
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Devon

District: South Hams (District Authority)

Parish: Shaugh Prior

National Park: DARTMOOR

National Grid Reference: SX 60421 67101


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 with a cist is a well preserved example and occupies a prominent position on the hill slope. Its relationship to other monuments indicates the wealth of evidence relating to the occupation and to the ritual side of life on this part of the Moor.


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


This cairn with a cist lies on a south-west facing slope above the confluence of the River Plym and Langcombe Brook. The cairn is 5.5m in diameter and has a retaining kerb of eight stones up to 0.2m in height. The coverstone lies on the east side of the cist. The cist is irregular in shape measuring 0.7m in length on the east side and 0.8m in length on the west side and 0.3m in width at the south end and 0.6m in width at the north end. It is 0.6m in depth. A similar cairn with a cist lies on the opposite side of the Langcombe Brook and there are enclosures with hut circles and a cairn in the vicinity.

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: 10707

Legacy System: RSM


SX 66 NW-048, (1990)

End of official listing