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Round cairn cemetery, 570m east of Selworthy Beacon

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: Round cairn cemetery, 570m east of Selworthy Beacon

List entry Number: 1020794

Location

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

County: Somerset

District: West Somerset

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Minehead Without

National Park: EXMOOR

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 15-Apr-1964

Date of most recent amendment: 03-Sep-2002

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 35327

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

Exmoor is the most easterly of the three main upland areas in the south western peninsula of England. In contrast to the other two areas, Dartmoor and Bodmin Moor, there has been no history of antiquarian research and little excavation of Exmoor monuments. However, survey work has confirmed a comparable richness of archaeological remains, with evidence of human exploitation and occupation from the Mesolithic period to the present day. Many of the field monuments surviving on Exmoor date from the later prehistoric period, examples including stone settings, stone alignments, standing stones, and burial mounds (barrows or cairns). Round cairn cemeteries are funerary monuments dating from the Late Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age, with most examples belonging to the period 2400-1500BC. Constructed as rubble mounds which covered single or multiple burials, they often also acted as a focus for burials in later periods. Over 370 barrows or cairns, varying in diameter from 2m to 35m, have been recorded on Exmoor, with a proportion of these forming round cairn cemeteries on or close to the summits of the three east-west ridges which cross the moor - the southern escarpment, the central ridge, and the northern ridge. Those which occupy prominent locations form a major visual element in the modern landscape. Their longevity as a monument type can 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 nine prehistoric cairns 570m east of Selworthy Beacon survive well as a group. They are situated in a prominent position and form an important visual element in the landscape near Hill Road, the scenic route through the open moorland and close to the South West Coast Path.

History

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

Details

The monument, which lies in six separate areas of protection, includes a prehistoric round cairn cemetery which is situated in open moorland occupying a prominent position along a ridge overlooking the Bristol Channel to the north and Dunkery Beacon to the south. The cemetery includes nine cairns which extend downslope broadly in a line from north west to south east between Bossington Hill and North Hill. The mounds of the cairns range from 8.5m to 18m in diameter and are between 0.4m high and 1.5m high. Several of the cairn mounds have hollow depressions at their centres and three have more pronounced depressions. The mound of the westernmost cairn has a central depression which is 2.2m long and 0.5m deep and another, located at the centre of the group, has a depression 6.5m diameter and 1m deep on its northern side. A cairn located towards the east side of the group has a depression 5.7m in diameter and 1.2m deep and two small mounds adjacent to its east and west sides which are thought to be deposits of material removed from the cairn mound. Two of the cairn mounds survive in the form of low rims approximately 0.5m high enclosing an uneven central area. The past disturbance to the cairn mounds has been attributed to stone material having been removed in antiquity for the construction of field walls and boundaries. However, it is also known that at least three of the cairns were the subject of partial excavations in the early 19th century by Richard Fenton, during which quantities of charcoal were recovered.

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
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of Somerset Archaelogical & Natural History Society' in Somerset Barrows, , Vol. 113 pt 1, (1969), 36
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of Somerset Archaelogical & Natural History Society' in Somerset Barrows, , Vol. 113 pt 1, (1969), 36
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of Somerset Archaelogical & Natural History Society' in Somerset Barrows, , Vol. 113 pt 1, (1969), 36
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of Somerset Archaelogical & Natural History Society' in Somerset Barrows, , Vol. 113 pt 1, (1969), 36
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of Somerset Archaelogical & Natural History Society' in Somerset Barrows, , Vol. 113 pt 1, (1969), 36
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of Somerset Archaelogical & Natural History Society' in Somerset Barrows, , Vol. 113 pt 1, (1969), 36
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of Somerset Archaelogical & Natural History Society' in Somerset Barrows, , Vol. 113 pt 1, (1969), 36
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of Somerset Archaelogical & Natural History Society' in Somerset Barrows, , Vol. 113 pt 1, (1969), 36
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of Somerset Archaelogical & Natural History Society' in Somerset Barrows, , Vol. 113 pt 1, (1969), 36
Other
SS 94 NW 103, National Monuments Record,
SS 94 NW 104, National Monuments Record,
SS 94 NW 105, National Monuments Record,
SS 94 NW 106, National Monuments Register,
SS 94 NW 107, National Monuments Record,
SS 94 NW 108, National Monuments Record,
SS 94 NW 109, National Monuments Record,
SS 94 NW 110, National Monument Register,
SS 94 NW 111, National Monuments Record,

National Grid Reference: SS 92175 48044, SS 92308 48027, SS 92412 48033, SS 92455 47964, SS 92527 47903, SS 92603 47836

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.
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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 - 1020794 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 20-Nov-2017 at 02:27:38.

End of official listing