Roundy Park prehistoric enclosure and cairn with cist, 560m north east of Archerton


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1021332

Date first listed: 25-May-1962

Date of most recent amendment: 22-Jun-2004


Ordnance survey map of Roundy Park prehistoric enclosure and cairn with cist, 560m north east of Archerton
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This copy shows the entry on 23-Jan-2019 at 13:38:07.


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

County: Devon

District: West Devon (District Authority)

Parish: Dartmoor Forest

National Park: DARTMOOR

National Grid Reference: SX 63968 79650


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, major 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. Cists are small rectangular stone structures used for burial purposes and date to the Bronze Age. On Dartmoor they are made up of regular stone slabs forming a box-like structure sometimes topped by a larger coverstone. Short cists survive as free-standing monuments, with no enclosing stone and earth cairn. On Dartmoor cists are also associated with cairns, ring cairns and cairnfield groups, but these free-standing examples form a separate group in their own right. Their longevity, having been in use for a millennium or so, provides insight into the range of ceremonial and ritual practices of the contemporary farming communities. The Dartmoor examples provide one of the best preserved and most dense concentrations of this class of monument in south-western Britain and, as such, a high proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.

Within the landscape of Dartmoor there are many discrete plots of land enclosed by stone walls or banks of stone and earth, most of which date to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700), though earlier and later examples also exist. They were constructed as stock pens or as protected areas for crop growing and were sometimes subdivided to accommodate stock and hut circle dwellings for farmers and herdsmen. The size and form of enclosures may therefore vary considerabley depending on their particular function. Their variation in form, longevity and relationship to other monument classes provide important information on the diversity of social organisation and farming practices amongst prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection. Despite later reuse of the enclosure and partial excavation and restoration of the cist, the Roundy Park prehistoric enclosure and cairn with cist, 560m north east of Archerton, survive comparatively well and will contain archaeological and environmental information relating to this area during the prehistoric period. The cist is one of the largest on the Moor and its position immediately adjacent to the enclosure is unusual, providing crucial information regarding both ritual and domestic activity.


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


The monument includes a prehistoric enclosure and cairn with cist situated on an east facing slope overlooking the valley of the East Dart River. The enclosure survives as a D-shaped area denoted by a rubble wall measuring between 3.5m and 5m wide and standing up to 0.6m high. The interior of the enclosure measures 114m east-west by 102m north-south and contains at least seven structures, some of which may represent the remains of stone hut circles. The enclosure wall is surmounted by a post-medieval drystone wall standing up to 1.6m high and a post-medieval leat or drain which cuts through the northern part of the enclosure. Adjacent to the north western side of the enclosure is a cairn containing a cist. The cairn survives as a 5.5m diameter stony mound standing up to 0.8m high. A large cist denoted by seven edge slabs stands within the mound and measures 1.5m long by 1.2m wide and 0.7m deep. The cist is orientated NNE-SSW and is covered by two large slabs. The present form of the cist is the result of restoration work carried out by Robert Burnard, whose 1893 excavation revealed two small flint flakes and some burnt bones. A number of large edge stones around the western, southern and eastern sides of the cist represent a kerb.

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: 34491

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1991), 41
Butler, J, 'Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities - The Second Millennium B.C.' in Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, , Vol. 5, (1997), 22
MPP Fieldwork by S. Gerrard, Gerrard, S., (2003)

End of official listing