Two cairns on the summit of Water Hill 450m north west of Warren House Inn

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019225

Date first listed: 09-Feb-2001

Map

Ordnance survey map of Two cairns on the summit of Water Hill 450m north west of Warren House Inn
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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: Chagford

County: Devon

District: West Devon (District Authority)

Parish: Dartmoor Forest

National Park: DARTMOOR

National Grid Reference: SX 67154 81302

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. 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 some damage as a result of interference to one of the mounds, the two cairns on the summit of Water Hill 450m north west of Warren House Inn survive comparatively well and contain both environmental and archaeological information about the construction and use of the mounds and the landscape in which they were built. The larger of the mounds is visually impressive and forms a notable and frequently visited landmark within this part of Devon.

History

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

Details

The monument includes two round cairns aligned NNW-SSE and an historic shelter situated on the summit of Water Hill overlooking much of central Dartmoor. The southern flat-topped cairn measures 18m in diameter, stands up to 1.5m high and is surmounted by a 1.3m high modern stone pile. A large slab on the southern side of this pile may have originally been part of a cist. A slight rim around the summit of the mound may represent a buried kerb or the result of later interference. A 3m wide band of rushes adjacent to the north eastern side of the mound may indicate the presence of a ditch, which originally surrounded the cairn, and from which material was quarried during the construction of the mound. The northern mound lies 6.4m from the other cairn, stands up to 0.7m high and is 5.5m in diameter. The historic shelter is built into the north eastern side of the large southern cairn and survives as a 2m long by 1.6m wide rectangular three sided structure faced by drystone walling standing up to 0.45m 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.

Legacy

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 28745

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1991), 36
Butler, J, 'Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities - The Second Millennium B.C.' in Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, , Vol. 5, (1997), 156
Other
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX68SE91, (1995)

End of official listing