This browser is not fully supported by Historic England. Please update your browser to the latest version so that you get the best from our website.

Prehistoric cairns and field boundary 450m south of the Louden Stone Circle

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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Prehistoric cairns and field boundary 450m south of the Louden Stone Circle

List entry Number: 1019886

Location

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

County:

District: Cornwall

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: St. Breward

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 09-May-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: 15551

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

Bodmin Moor, the largest of the Cornish granite uplands, has long been recognised to have exceptional preservation of archaeological remains. The Moor has been the subject of detailed archaeological survey and is one of the best recorded upland landscapes in England. The extensive relict landscapes of prehistoric, medieval and post-medieval date provide direct evidence for human exploitation of the Moor from the earliest prehistoric period onwards. The well-preserved and often visible relationship between settlement sites, field systems, ceremonial and funerary monuments as well as later industrial remains provides significant insights into successive changes in the pattern of land use through time.

Platform cairns and round cairns are funerary monuments covering single or multiple burials and dating to the Bronze Age (about 2000-700 BC). They were constructed as mounds of earth and stone rubble up to 40m in external diameter but usually considerably smaller. In round cairns the mound has a domed profile whereas in platform cairns it rises to a flattened upper surface occupying a substantial proportion of the mound's overall area. A kerb of edge-set stones sometimes bounds the edges of the mound, platform or both. Round cairns and platform cairns can occur as isolated monuments, in small groups or in larger cemeteries, often containing cairns of various types. Their considerable variation in form and longevity as a monument type provides important information on the diversity of beliefs, burial practices and social organisation in the Bronze Age. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of preservation. The platform and round cairns 450m south of Louden Hill survive reasonably well. Despite the limited attentions of antiquarian excavators, each retains clear evidence for its form and main structural components, and each will preserve the old land surface beneath, along with any structural remains and features within it. The setting of these cairns, peripheral to a focus of prehistoric funerary and ritual monuments over the south of Louden Hill, provides important insights into the physical organisation of ritual activity among prehistoric communities and the influence upon it of the setting of the monument. The relationship between the prehistoric field boundary and the cairn group in this scheduling, particularly the south western cairn by which it is robbed, adds valuable and rare evidence for the development of later Neolithic and Early Bronze Age land use.

History

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

Details

The scheduling includes three prehistoric funerary cairns and an adjacent prehistoric field boundary on top of a low ridge linking Louden Hill with King Arthur's Downs on north western Bodmin Moor. In their wider context, these cairns lie at the southern limit of a focus of prehistoric funerary and ritual monuments which extends, beyond this scheduling, across the south of the Louden Hill ridge. The cairns survive as turf-covered rubble mounds variously incorporating exposed slabs of kerbing and/or a box-like funerary structure called a cist. They are arranged in a triangular grouping: to the south west, two cairns are centred 15.5m apart north west-south east, with the third located 42m to their north east. All show limited disturbance from unrecorded antiquarian excavation. The cairn to the north east is a kerbed platform cairn with a sub-circular mound up to 5.9m across and 0.4m high, rising to a flattened upper platform 3.4m WNW-ESE by 3.05m NNE-SSW. The platform is defined by a near-continuous kerb of 16 edge-set slabs up to 0.25m high and 0.25m-0.8m wide. Within the kerb the flattened surface is interrupted at its centre by the oblong trench of an antiquarian excavation, 1.8m long, WNW-ESE, 1.45m wide and 0.25m deep. A low ridge of spoil from this trench extends down the SSE slope of the mound beyond the kerb. The north western of the cairns is also a kerbed platform cairn whose shallow- domed mound, 10m north-south by 9.75m east-west, rises to 0.5m high to a flattened platform defined by intermittent remains of a kerb about 7m in diameter. The kerb retains two closely spaced edge-set slabs measuring up to 0.3m high on the north east side, although elsewhere it appears slighted, leaving a line of small flat slabs exposed on the south east and south sides with well-spaced larger slabs on the south west and west sides. Within the kerb, the platform periphery is clear around the south side but beyond this its flattened surface is affected by an antiquarian excavation whose trench, up to 1.75m wide, extends east-west across the north of the platform, accompanied by an irregular spoil heap dumped onto the platform mostly south of the trench. Near the centre of the trench floor, an oblong depression 2m long by 1.5m wide is considered to mark the former site of a funerary cist whose large covering slab, 1.15m long, 0.75m wide and 0.2m thick, lies displaced to the south on top of the spoil mound. The third cairn, on the south west side of the group, is a small round cairn, visible as a shallow rounded mound 6.5m north east-south west by 6m north west-south east and up to 0.4m high. At the centre of the mound are the exposed upper edges of two adjacent edge-set slabs, 0.7m long in combined length and considered to mark one side of a funerary cist. Crossing the mound north of centre is the north east-south west hollow of an antiquarian excavation trench, 0.9m wide and up to 0.25m deep; a second slighter hollow, 0.1m deep, passes north-south over the west of the mound and is considered to derive from a relatively recent moorland path. The prehistoric field boundary curves north east from 3.8m north of the kerbed platform cairn in the south west section of the cairn group. Visible over 25m, it initially heads north from the cairn then curves north east and eventually east. Where least disturbed it survives as a rubble bank 2m wide and up to 0.25m high, but before truncation as a visible feature at each end it becomes increasingly spread wider and lower. Beyond this scheduling to the north are occasional further fragments of walling from an early phase of prehistoric irregular field system which survives more completely over the slopes of Louden Hill where the field system is demonstrably earlier than the prehistoric cairn which overlies and robs parts of its walling. A similar relationship is indicated in this scheduling by the short gap between the boundary and the kerbed platform cairn on its alignment to the south.

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
Johnson, N, Rose, P, 'The Human Landscape to c 1800' in Bodmin Moor An Archaeological Survey, , Vol. 1, (1994)
Trahair, J E R, 'Cornish Archaeology' in A survey of cairns on Bodmin Moor, (1978), 3-24
Trahair, J E R, 'Cornish Archaeology' in A survey of cairns on Bodmin Moor, (1978), 3-24
Other
CAU Bodmin Moor Survey Archive, Sharpe A & Gerrard G A M, Field Survey Record Card for Louden Context 169, (1984)
CAU Bodmin Moor Survey archive, Sharpe A & Gerrard G A M, Field Survey Record Card for Louden Context 169, (1984)
CAU Bodmin Moor Survey archive, Sharpe A & Gerrard G A M, Field Survey Record Card for Louden Context 170, (1984)
CAU, Cornwall SMR entry PRN 1981.1,
CAU, Cornwall SMR entry PRN 1981.2,
Cornwall SMR paper record, CCRA, CCRA Sites & Monuments Register Entry SX 17 NW/22,
Cornwall SMR paper record, CCRA, CCRA Sites & Monuments Register Entry SX 17 NW/22/1,
Title: 1:10000 Ordnance Survey Map SX 17 NW Source Date: 1983 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

National Grid Reference: SX 13231 79033

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2017. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1019886 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 19-Nov-2017 at 01:26:22.

End of official listing