Two round cairns 600m ENE of Great Trowlesworthy Tor


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018357

Date first listed: 27-Nov-1996

Date of most recent amendment: 25-Jun-2001


Ordnance survey map of Two round cairns 600m ENE of Great Trowlesworthy Tor
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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 58561 64455


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.

Despite evidence of partial excavation, the two round cairns 600m ENE of Trowlesworthy Tor survive well and contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed. The cairns form an important constituent part of a diverse group of broadly contemporary monuments including settlements, field systems and other funerary sites. This group of cairns lies midway between two settlements and therefore they may also have acted as territorial markers.


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


This monument includes two closely spaced round cairns situated on a gentle west facing slope overlooking the valley of Spanish Lake. The northern cairn mound measures 7m in diameter and stands up to 0.7m high. A number of retaining stones are visible around the eastern part of the mound, indicating the presence of an internal kerb, which survives largely as a buried feature. A hollow in the centre of the mound suggests previous partial early excavation or robbing. The southern cairn lies 3m from its neighbour and measures 6m in diameter by 0.7m high and contains a cist placed eccentrically in its eastern side. Both side and end slabs of the cist are in place. It measures 1.2m long, 0.6m wide and 0.4m deep. The monument is in the care of the Secretary of State.

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: 10638

Legacy System: RSM


Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX56SE065, (1992)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX56SE396, (1992)
MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard,

End of official listing