Two round cairns 400m north west of Scorhill Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018908

Date first listed: 04-Feb-1999


Ordnance survey map of Two round cairns 400m north west of Scorhill Farm
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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: Gidleigh

National Park: DARTMOOR

National Grid Reference: SX 65742 87729


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 for partial excavation, the two round cairns 400m north west of Scorhill Farm survive comparatively well and contain important archaeological and environmental information relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was built. The ridge location of the mounds combined with their proximity to a stone circle and other cairns suggests that they may have been part of an important ritual centre as well as significant early territorial markers. The presence of two rings of edge set stones within the body of one mound is very unusual and suggests that important structural information may also survive.


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


The monument includes two round cairns aligned NNE-SSW and is situated on a gentle slope overlooking the valley of the North Teign River. The southern cairn survives as a 0.75m high, flat topped oval mound measuring 12.8m east to west by 11.7m north to south. Two separate rings of edge set stones are visible within the mound. The inner ring measures 7.5m in diameter and is composed of stones standing up to 0.5m high. The outer ring stands up to 0.35m high and is 9.5m in diameter. Both rings survive particularly well in the southern part of the cairn. The second cairn lies 13m to the north east of the first and survives as a 12m diameter, flat topped circular mound standing up to 0.6m high. Both mounds have hollows cut into them suggesting partial early excavation or robbing.

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: 28702

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Turner, J R, 'Devon Archaeological Society Proceedings' in Ring Cairns, Stone Circles and Related Monuments on Dartmoor, , Vol. 48, (1990), 83
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX68NE90, (1986)

End of official listing