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Four cairns 560m east of Hapstead Ford and 1660m east of Ryder's Hill, forming part of a cairn cemetery in the Mardle Valley

List Entry Summary

This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Four cairns 560m east of Hapstead Ford and 1660m east of Ryder's Hill, forming part of a cairn cemetery in the Mardle Valley

List entry Number: 1019270


The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Devon

District: South Hams

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Holne

National Park: DARTMOOR

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 24-Jan-2001

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 28766

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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, the four cairns 560m east of Hapstead Ford and 1660m east of Ryder's Hill, forming part of a cairn cemetery survive well and contain important archaeological and environmental information relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was built. With two types of cairn present, this group of funerary sites will contain contrasting information concerning burial practices. Ring cairns are relatively rare, with between 250 and 500 known examples natioanally.


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


The monument, which falls into four areas of protection, includes four cairns, forming part of a cairn cemetery situated on a gentle south facing slope overlooking the valley of River Mardle. The northern example is a ring cairn and survives as a 1.5m wide by 0.5m high rubble bank surrounding an internal area measuring 7.8m in diameter. A number of edge set slabs within this bank may represent a kerb. The second cairn lies to the south east and survives as an 8m diameter mound standing up to 0.4m high. The easternmost cairn is 8.4m in diameter and stands up to 1m high. The southern cairn is flat-topped, 0.7m high and 9.9m in diameter. A number of edge edge set stones around the periphery of the mound represent a kerb. Hollows and trenches cutting into all four cairns indicate that they have been subjected to early undocumented investigations.

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.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Butler, J, 'Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities - The North' in Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, , Vol. 4, (1993), 172

National Grid Reference: SX 67523 69354, SX 67615 68962, SX 67617 69223, SX 67727 69031


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This copy shows the entry on 25-Sep-2018 at 12:05:25.

End of official listing