Round cairn 280m south of Rex Stile Head
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
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This copy shows the entry on 29-Feb-2020 at 13:35:27.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- West Somerset (District Authority)
- Wootton Courtenay
- National Park:
- National Grid Reference:
- SS 90447 42282
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 cairns are funerary monuments dating from the Late Neolithic period
to the Late Bronze Age, with most examples belonging to the period
2400-1500BC. They were constructed as rubble mounds which covered single
or multiple burials. They occur either in isolation or grouped as
cemeteries, and often 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 many of these found 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. Individual cairns and groups
may also be found on lower lying ground and hillslopes. 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
Despite some surface disturbance to the mound, the round cairn located 280m south of Rex Stile Head survives comparatively well and will contain archaeological deposits together with environmental evidence relating both to the monument and the wider landscape in which it was constructed. The cairn is associated with a major round cairn cemetery (a group of cairns sited in close proximity to one another) which extends eastwards along the Dunkery Ridge, and which includes the prominent Joaney How and Robin How cairns.
The monument includes a prehistoric round cairn situated in open moorland
near the broad summit of Dunkery Hill at the eastern end of the Dunkery
Ridge. The round cairn forms an outlying member of a round cairn cemetery,
the centre of which is located about 650m to the north east along the
contour of the Ridge and forms the subject of a separate scheduling. The
cairn survives as a stoney mound 9.4m in diameter. The centre of the mound
has been hollowed, the stone having been removed, probably as a result of
antiquarian excavation or by robbing, giving the cairn the appearance of a
near circular bank 0.4m in height.
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:
SS 94 SW 83, National Monuments Record,
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