Cist and retaining kerb south-east of Lower Piles


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013101

Date first listed: 05-Jun-1972

Date of most recent amendment: 24-Oct-1991


Ordnance survey map of Cist and retaining kerb south-east of Lower Piles
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1013101 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 23-Jan-2019 at 17:55:46.


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 64535 60254


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 the later industrial remains, gives significant insights into successive changes in the pattern of land use through time. This cist and retaining kerb, south of Lower Piles, are well-preserved examples and their relationship with other ceremonial monuments, including cairns and a stone alignment, 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.2500-500 BC). 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 example consists of a cist within the retaining kerb of a cairn about 4m. in diameter, remaining 0.3m. high. The cist lies slightly to the east of the centre and is orientated south-east/north-west. Three of its side stones are in place, the north-west end being formed by smaller stones, possibly cairn material. The capstone is missing. It measures 1.2m. in length, 0.6m. wide at the south-east end and 0.4m. wide at the north-west, with a depth of 0.9m. The slabs are 0.2m. thick. The retaining kerb consists of six orthostats, averaging 0.3m. high above the mound, with one large stone on the downhill side a metre high.

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: 10523

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Davidson, C J, Seabrook, R A G, 'Proc. Devon Arch. Soc.' in Stone Rings on South East Dartmoor, , Vol. 31, (1973), 28-34
Grinsell, L V, 'Proc. Devon Arch. Soc.' in Dartmoor Barrows (0305 5795), , Vol. 36, (1978), 140

End of official listing