Ring cairn on Holne Ridge 860m north west of Hapstead Ford and 1180m north east of Ryder's Hill

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019271

Date first listed: 24-Jan-2001

Map

Ordnance survey map of Ring cairn on Holne Ridge 860m north west of Hapstead Ford and 1180m north east of Ryder's Hill
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Location

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 66698 70026

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. A ring cairn is a prehistoric ritual monument comprising a circular bank of stones up to 20m in diameter surrounding a hollow central area. The bank may be kerbed on the inside, and sometimes on the outside as well, with small uprights or laid boulders. Ring cairns are found mainly in upland areas of England and are mostly discovered and authenticated by ground level fieldwork and survey, although a few are large enough to be visible on aerial photographs. They often occur in pairs or small groups of up to four examples. Occasionally they lie within round barrow cemeteries. Ring cairns are interpreted as ritual monuments of Early and Middle Bronze Age date. The exact nature of the rituals concerned is not fully understood, but excavation has revealed pits, some containing burials and others containing charcoal and pottery, taken to indicate feasting activities associated with the burial rituals. Many areas of upland have not yet been surveyed in detail and the number of ring cairns in England is not accurately known. However, available evidence indicates a population of between 250 and 500 examples. As a relatively rare class of monument exhibiting considerable variation in form, all positively identified examples retaining significant archaeological deposits are considered worthy of preservation.

The ring cairn on Holne Ridge 860m north west of Hapstead Ford and 1180m north east of Ryder's Hill survives well and contains important archaeological information relating to the construction and use of the monument. The cairn is largely covered by a blanket of peat which as well as protecting structural evidence, will also contain environmental information about the surrounding Bronze Age landscape. This cairn forms part of a group of visually impressive cairns situated on high ground overlooking the largest and best preserved Bronze Age coaxial field system on the Moor.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a ring cairn forming an outlying part of a linear group of dispersed cairns situated on the northern slope of Holne Ridge. The cairn survives as a flat-topped 22m diameter and 0.9m high mound surrounded on three sides by a 1m wide and 0.3m high bank. Including this bank, the monument measures 30.4m in diameter.

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: 28767

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Butler, J, 'Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities - The North' in Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, , Vol. 4, (1993), 194

End of official listing