Ring cairn 230m south east of Cullever Steps

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017870

Date first listed: 18-Mar-1965

Date of most recent amendment: 18-Mar-1998

Map

Ordnance survey map of Ring cairn 230m south east of Cullever Steps
© 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: West Devon (District Authority)

Parish: Belstone

National Park: DARTMOOR

National Grid Reference: SX 60774 91956

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. A ring cairn is a prehistoric ritual monument comprising a circular bank of stones up to 20m in diameter surrounding a hollow central area. The bank may be kerbed on the inside, and sometimes on the outside as well, with small uprights or laid boulders. Ring cairns are found mainly in upland areas of England and are mostly discovered and authenticated by ground level fieldwork and survey, although a few are large enough to be visible on aerial photographs. They often occur in pairs or small groups of up to four examples. Occasionally they lie within round barrow cemeteries. Ring cairns are interpreted as ritual monuments of Early and Middle Bronze Age date. The exact nature of the rituals concerned is not fully understood, but excavation has revealed pits, some containing burials and others containing charcoal and pottery, taken to indicate feasting activities associated with the burial rituals. Many areas of upland have not yet been surveyed in detail and the number of ring cairns in England is not accurately known. However, available evidence indicates a population of between 250 and 500 examples. As a relatively rare class of monument exhibiting considerable variation in form, all positively identified examples retaining significant archaeological deposits are considered worthy of preservation.

Despite partial robbing, the ring cairn 230m south east of Cullever Steps survives comparatively well and contains archaeological information relating to the monument and the environment in which it was constructed.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a ring cairn situated below Belstone Tor within the valley of the East Okement River. The cairn survives as a 0.5m high bank surrounding a 4.1m diameter internal circular area. The bank around the southern and eastern side of the cairn is faced on both sides with edge set stones. A large flat stone lying on the south western part of the ring bank may represent a displaced cist coverstone. The overall dimensions of the cairn are 9.5m east to west by 8.5m north to south.

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: 28667

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Other
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX69SW3, (1993)

End of official listing