Cairn cemetery 900m north east of Hapstead Ford and 2km WSW of Fore Stoke


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019269

Date first listed: 24-Jan-2001


Ordnance survey map of Cairn cemetery 900m north east of Hapstead Ford and 2km WSW of Fore Stoke
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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: Holne

National Park: DARTMOOR

National Grid Reference: SX 67767 69497, SX 67881 69580, SX 67993 69631


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, 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. Cairnfields are concentrations of three or more cairns sited within close proximity to one another; they may consist of burial cairns or cairns built with stone cleared from the land surface (clearance cairns). Round funerary cairns were constructed during the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC) and consisted of earthen or rubble mounds, sometimes ditched, which covered single or multiple burials. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major visual element in the modern landscape. The considerable variation in the size of cairnfields and their 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.

Despite partial excavation of four mounds, the cairn cemetery 900m north east of Hapstead Ford and 2km WSW of Fore Stoke, survives well and contains important archaeological and environmental information relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was built. The larger of the cairns in this group are both visually impressive and prominent in the landscape.


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


The monument, which falls into three areas of protection, includes five cairns forming a cairn cemetery situated on a high ridge on Holne Lee overlooking the valley of the River Dart. Four of the mounds contain pits which indicate that they have been subjected to early undocumented investigations. The eastern cairn includes a 13.3m diameter mound standing up to 1.3m high. In the centre of the mound is a 4.8m long by 4m wide and 0.7m deep pit. Spoil thrown up during the digging of this pit forms a heap on the southern side of the cairn. Standing about 80m south west of the first cairn is a substantial mound measuring 21m in diameter and up to 1.3m high. West of this cairn is a smaller mound measuring 9.5m long by 7.8m wide. A few metres further to the west is another large cairn and this measures 22.5m in diameter and 1.1m high. The southernmost cairn is the only one in the group which has no obvious signs of interference and this measures 7m in diameter by 0.5m 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.


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

Legacy System number: 28765

Legacy System: RSM


Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX66NE128, (1985)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX66NE26, (1985)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX66NE27, (1985)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX66NE28, (1985)
RCHME, Holne Moor Survey carried out for DNPA,

End of official listing