A cairn and cist 380m west and a cairn and standing stone 370m south west of Bellever Tor, forming an outlying part of a cairn cemetery


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018508

Date first listed: 21-Jan-1999


Ordnance survey map of A cairn and cist 380m west and a cairn and standing stone 370m south west of Bellever Tor, forming an outlying part of a cairn cemetery
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Devon

District: West Devon (District Authority)

Parish: Dartmoor Forest

National Park: DARTMOOR

National Grid Reference: SX 64084 76462, SX 64143 76267


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 partial excavation and limited disturbance as a result of nearby afforestation to one of the mounds, the two cairns and standing stone west of Bellever Tor survive well as part of a wider cairn cemetery. They will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed. The monument provides a valuable insight into Bronze Age funerary and ritual activity as well as providing information concerning territorial control on the Moor. Standing stones are relatively rare on Dartmoor, especially those associated with cairns.


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


The monument, which falls into two areas of protection, includes two cairns, one containing a cist, and a standing stone lying on a gentle west facing slope; prior to afforestation they would have overlooked the valley of the Cherry Brook. The northern cairn survives as a 7.7m diameter and 0.8m high mound denoted on its eastern side by at least five edge set stones standing up to 0.35m high. In the centre of the mound is a substantial cist, measuring 1.4m long by 0.48m wide and 0.5m deep, which is aligned NNW to SSE. The northern end stone appears to be missing and the eastern edge stone has slipped inwards. To the west of the cist and partially overhanging it is a substantial slab measuring 1.84m long by 1.48m wide and 0.35m thick. This stone represents the capstone discarded during robbing. The cist had already been disturbed before it was investigated by the Dartmoor Exploration Committee in 1901. The southern cairn survives as a 6m long by 5m wide mound standing up to 0.7m high. Two edge slabs on the northern side of the mound may represent the remnants of a kerb, which survives elsewhere as a buried feature. An upright stone slab situated 6.6m ESE of this cairn may be a contemporary standing stone. The stone measures 0.95m high and 0.8m wide at the base, tapering to 0.2m wide at the top. It is 0.28m thick and its long axis points towards the nearby cairn.

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: 28684

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1991), 52-3
MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard, Gerrard, S., (1997)
National Archaeological Record, SX67NW44,

End of official listing