Cairnfield and two stone hut circles 490m and 550m south west of Cox Tor


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


Ordnance survey map of Cairnfield and two stone hut circles 490m and 550m south west of Cox Tor
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

West Devon (District Authority)
Peter Tavy
National Park:
National Grid Reference:
SX 52764 75733, SX 52850 75739

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.

The two hut circles represent dwelling places of prehistoric farmers on Dartmoor. Examples mostly date from the Bronze Age, with the earliest examples dating to about 1700 BC. Although they are common on the Moor, their longevity and their relationship with other monument types provide information on the diversity of social organisation and farming practices amongst prehistoric communities. The cairnfield and two stone hut circles 490m and 550m south west of Cox Tor survive well and together with an associated coaxial field system forms part of a particularly well-preserved palimpsest on the lower slopes of Cox Tor, containing abundant evidence for the use of the area in both prehistoric and historic times.


The monument, which falls into two areas of protection, includes a cairnfield and two stone hut circles situated on a gentle south west facing slope of Cox Tor, overlooking much of West Devon and East Cornwall. The cairnfield includes a cluster of at least 13 mounds varying in diameter between 4.2m and 9.5m. The cairns stand between 0.3m and 1m high and six of them have been robbed or partially excavated. The stone hut circles survive as rubble banks each surrounding a circular internal area. The interior of the western stone hut circle measures 6m in diameter and is denoted by a 1.7m wide earthwork standing up to 0.3m high. The eastern hut, which lies in the second area of protection, measures 6.5m in diameter and is surrounded by a 1.5m wide rubble bank standing up to 0.6m high. This monument sits within an extensive coaxial field system which extends over much of Whitchurch Common and the slopes of Cox Tor. This field system is the subject of separate schedulings.

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:
Legacy System:


MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard, Gerrard, S., (2000)
Title: Cox Tor Survey Source Date: 1991 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: 1:2500 plan


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.

End of official listing

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