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One of a group of four cairns on Butterdon Hill

List Entry Summary

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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: One of a group of four cairns on Butterdon Hill

List entry Number: 1013060


The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Devon

District: South Hams

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Ugborough

National Park: DARTMOOR

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 25-Feb-1953

Date of most recent amendment: 10-Oct-1991

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 10600

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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 of 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 land use through time. These four large cairns are well preserved examples and occupy prominent positions on the brow of Butterdon Hill, forming part of a series of large, probably high status, cairns of similar construction on hilltops along the eastern side of the Erme Valley. The group of cairns on this hill suggests that it was of particular importance as a focal point for the local community. The relationship of this group with other cairns indicates the wealth of evidence relating to the ritual side of Prehistoric life on this part of the moor.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry 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 roughly hemispherical shape over the burial, which was sometimes contained in a small rectangular structure, or cist, made out of stone slabs. Some monuments also include kerbstones marking the outer edge of the mound and a surrounding ditch. The four cairns on Butterdon Hill are similarly constructed with a mound of stones built on a stone and earth base the circumference of which projects beyond the stones. They range in diameter from 15m to 28m and in height from 1m to 3m and are part of a series of large stone cairns along the ridge between Butterdon Hill and Weatherdon Hill. This cairn, on the south-west slope of Butterdon Hill, consists of a mound of stones built upon a stone, earth and turf base, possibly with a berm and ditch. It is 15m in diameter and approximately 1.8m high and is one of a series of similar large cairns along the ridge between Butterdon Hill and Weatherdon Hill.

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.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, 'Devon Archaeological Society Proceedings' in Dartmoor Barrows, , Vol. 36, (1978)
SMR SX 65 NE 222,

National Grid Reference: SX 65614 58520


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This copy shows the entry on 24-Feb-2018 at 02:26:28.

End of official listing