Cairnfield, cairn and a length of the Taw Marsh Reave 830m ESE of Moorland House


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1020243

Date first listed: 11-Feb-2002


Ordnance survey map of Cairnfield, cairn and a length of the Taw Marsh Reave 830m ESE of Moorland House
© 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.
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 - 1020243 .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 21-Jan-2019 at 10:09:46.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Devon

District: West Devon (District Authority)

Parish: South Tawton

National Park: DARTMOOR

National Grid Reference: SX 62904 92707, SX 63051 92793, SX 63053 92664


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.

Complexes of fields and field boundaries are some of the major features of the Dartmoor landscape. These `reaves' are part of an extensive system of prehistoric land division introduced during the Bronze Age (c.2000- 700 BC). They consist of simple linear stone banks used to mark out discrete territories, some of which are tens of kilometres in extent. The cairnfield, cairn and length of the Taw Marsh Reave survive comparatively well and together contain contrasting information concerning the use of this area during the later prehistoric period.


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


The monument, which falls into three areas of protection, includes a cairnfield, cairn and a length of the Taw Marsh Reave situated on a gentle north west facing slope of Cosdon Hill overlooking the valley of the River Taw. The cairnfield includes at least eight mounds varying between 3.6m and 5.5m in diameter, standing between 0.4m and 0.8m high. The Taw Marsh Reave, which is considered to represent the western edge of a prehistoric territory, survives within the monument as a 500m long, 1.5m wide rubble bank standing up to 0.7m high. The cairn east of this reave measures 9.5m in diameter and stands up to 1m high. A shallow hollow in the centre of the cairn represents partial robbing or early excavation.

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: 34438

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1991), 147

End of official listing