Round cairn 280m south of Rex Stile Head


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1020932

Date first listed: 23-Apr-2003


Ordnance survey map of Round cairn 280m south of Rex Stile Head
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Somerset

District: West Somerset (District Authority)

Parish: Wootton Courtenay

National Park: EXMOOR

National Grid Reference: SS 90447 42282


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 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 protection.

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.


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


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: 35593

Legacy System: RSM


SS 94 SW 83, National Monuments Record,

End of official listing