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HER Number:MDV4377
Name:Round cairn on Hangingstone Hill

Summary

Round cairn situated on the summit of Hangingstone Hill (17 metres in diameter, 1.6 metres high). Flat topped stony mound with a shallow pit in the centre suggesting early partial excavation or robbing. A number of edge set stones are visible within the fabric of the mound, suggesting the survival of original constructional details. Surveyed and repaired in 2015.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 617 861
Map Sheet:SX68NW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishDartmoor Forest
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishLYDFORD

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX 68 NW 19
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX68NW/9
  • Old SAM County Ref: 481
  • Old SAM Ref: 28659
  • Pastscape: 443723

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • ROUND CAIRN (Bronze Age - 2200 BC to 701 BC (Between))

Full description

Royal Air Force, 13/04/1947, RAF/CPE/UK/1995, 1369-1370 (Aerial Photograph). SDV224714.


Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1950, SX68NW19, (18/8/1950) (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV239620.

Cairn on Hangingstone Hill 26 metres by 18.5 metres by 1.3 metres high. This cairn is badly mutilated.


Ancient Monuments, 1961, Schedule Document, (September 1961) (Schedule Document). SDV239614.

Round barrow. Large flat topped mound. Range hut of concrete blocks built on and against the southern side. Flag pole set in centre of mound.


Grinsell, L. V., 1978, Dartmoor Barrows, 144 (Article in Serial). SDV273224.


Robinson, R., 1982, List of Field Monument Warden Visits 1982 (Un-published). SDV342809.

Visited 23/02/1982.


Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, 1985, Aerial Photograph Project (Interpretation). SDV319854.

This is probably this cairn visible in Royal Air Force 1947 aerial photographs.


Robinson, R., 1986, List of Field Monument Warden Visits 1986 (Un-published). SDV345664.

Visited 06/03/1986.


Ancient Monuments, 1997, Schedule Document (Schedule Document). SDV239619.

Round cairn at SX61708611 on summit of Hangingstone Hill. Diameter 17 metres, height 1.6 metres. Flat topped, stony mound. Shallow central pit suggests early partial excavation or robbing. A number of edge set stones are visible within the fabric, suggesting survival of original constructional details. The peat mound adjacent to east side of barrow and the military observation post on its south side are not included in the scheduling.


Newman , P., 2015, Hangingstone Hill Round Cairn Condition Survey (Report - Survey). SDV359950.

turf-covered, stony mound, constructed from small to medium sized granite boulders, bound together with peaty earth, which once formed an approximately circular cairn with an original base diameter between 16 and 17 metres. The mound is 1.8 metres high; its top surface is an approximately circular plateau of 8 metres in diameter, where a subtle hollow to one side, with low mound to the west, suggests some ancient disturbance.
The cairn suffered further disturbance when the range wardens’ hut was built into the south side in the 20th century. A section of the cairn was removed and levelled to accommodate the foundations of the 5.2 metre by 3.6 metre structure, encroaching into the southern sector of the cairn’s fabric. Stone has been removed from the slope of the mound, scarring its south side with a deep scooped impression. A low, spread mound of rubble, close to the south-east of the cairn, was probably the spoil resulting from this intrusion.
A narrow build-up of peat on the eastern side of the cairn partly covers it at one point, and may represent a much larger deposit that once surrounded the monument, but has become denuded over time. The residue of this peat build-up is also visible on the north side of the cairn, where the vertical edge of the deposit stands to about 0.15 metres above the old land surface, and at point where poaching by livestock has created a vertical edge in the peaty fabric. This is eroding, causing stone to become loosened and detached from the mound. Numerous loose stones now lie on the old land surface to the north, where the erosion has taken place. It can be estimated that on parts of the circumference, up to 2.5 metres of cairn fabric has been lost to this erosion, which is still active. (NB as most of the loose stone is displaced and therefore out of context, no effort was made to record all these stones. The plan shows only a representative sample of surveyed stones).


Newman , P., 2015, Hangingstone Hill Round Cairn SX 61707 86129 (Plan - measured). SDV359949.

Survey plan which is referred to in Phil Newman's report.


Bray, L., 2016, Hangingstone Cairn: recording and repair, September 2015 (Report - non-specific). SDV359952.

A military observation post constructed of stone on a concrete plinth, is cut into the southern side of the cairn. By the winter of 2015/16 the action of sheep creating scrapes for shelter was resulting in heavy erosion to the northern flanks of the cairn which was exposing and damaging undisturbed cairn fabric. As a result, it was decided to record the sections exposed by the scrapes and consolidate the eroding faces through the construction of revetting walls. Scheduled Monument Consent and all relevant permissions were acquired to undertake the work.
The extent of the erosion was surveyed on 23/09/15 by Dartmoor National Park Authority archaeologists and repairs were undertaken on the 16/12/15 by the Dartmoor National Park Authority.
Dry stone revetment walls were constructed across eroded areas (sections 1 and 2). Section 3 was not repaired in this manner due a lack of suitable material and the likelihood that the material exposed in it was not in situ.


Ordnance Survey, 2016, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV359352.

Depicted on the modern mapping. Map object based on this source.


Historic England, 2016, National Heritage List for England, Accessed 20/12/2016 (National Heritage List for England). SDV359353.

Despite partial excavation and limited disturbance by historic military activity, the round cairn on Hangingstone Hill survives well and contains archaeological and environmental information relating to this area during the prehistoric period. This cairn is one of a relatively small number of large cairns situated in a prominent position within this part of Dartmoor and it is considered that as a group they formed important territorial markers.
Details
The monument includes a round cairn situated on the summit of Hangingstone Hill. The cairn survives as a 17m diameter and 1.6m high, flat topped stony mound. A shallow pit in the centre of the cairn suggests early partial excavation or robbing. A number of edge set stones are visible within the fabric of the mound, suggesting the survival of original constructional details. The peat mound adjacent to the eastern side of the barrow and the military observation post on its south side are not included in the scheduling.


National Monument Record, 2016, Pastscape, Accessed 20/12/2016 (Website). SDV359354.

A cairn measuring 17.0 metres in diameter and 1.4 metres in height with a massive addition of peat on its east side. The cairn has been slightly mutilated by a military observation building constructed on its south perimeter, otherwise fair condition.
Surveyed at 1:10 000 on MSD (citing Ordnance Survey, 06/09/1979).
SX 61708613. A low, flat-topped cairn located on the summit of Haningstone Hill. It measures 17.5 metres north to south by 15.0 metres at base and is maximum 1.4 metres high. It is apparently composed of medium sized granite slabs and boulders with a thin and patchy covering of turf. An ovoid hollow, 3.1 metres north to south by 2.0 metres and 0.3 metres deep, containing the stump of the flag pole (noted in the Devon Sites and Monuments Record) lies slightly east of centre. A Range Wardens' hut encroaches on the southern side of the cairn. A considerable amount of peat has built up or has been deposited on the eastern side elongating the mound by some 10 metres in this direction (citing Probert, S. A. J., Royal Commission on the Historic Monuments in England Field Investigation, 02/09/1993).
This fine hilltop cairn is as described except there is erosion on the northern side caused by livestock (citing Fletcher, M., English Heritage Field Investigation, 20/10/2003).

Sources / Further Reading

  • Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 13/04/1947. RAF/CPE/UK/1995. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 1369-1370.
  • Schedule Document: Ancient Monuments. 1961. Schedule Document. The Schedule of Monuments. Unknown. (September 1961).
  • Schedule Document: Ancient Monuments. 1997. Schedule Document. The Schedule of Monuments. Unknown.
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1950. SX68NW19. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index. (18/8/1950).
  • Article in Serial: Grinsell, L. V.. 1978. Dartmoor Barrows. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 36. A5 Paperback. 144.
  • Interpretation: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. 1985. Aerial Photograph Project. Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England Aerial Photograph P. Cartographic.
  • Un-published: Robinson, R.. 1982. List of Field Monument Warden Visits 1982. Lists of Field Monument Warden Visits. Unknown.
  • Un-published: Robinson, R.. 1986. List of Field Monument Warden Visits 1986. Lists of Field Monument Warden Visits. Printout.
  • Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2016. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital.
  • National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2016. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital. Accessed 20/12/2016.
  • Website: National Monument Record. 2016. Pastscape. http://www.pastscape.org.uk. Website. Accessed 20/12/2016.
  • Plan - measured: Newman , P.. 2015. Hangingstone Hill Round Cairn SX 61707 86129. 1:200. Digital.
  • Report - Survey: Newman , P.. 2015. Hangingstone Hill Round Cairn Condition Survey. South-West Landscape Investigations. Digital.
  • Report - non-specific: Bray, L.. 2016. Hangingstone Cairn: recording and repair, September 2015. Dartmoor National Park Authority Field Report. Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV115806Related to: Natural Cairn used as a Modern Military Training Site on Hangingstone Hill, Dartmoor Forest (Monument)
MDV115805Related to: Orthostat within Natural Cairn on Hangingstone Hill, Dartmoor Forest (Monument)
MDV52440Related to: Trackway from South Zeal to Hangingstone Hill, South Tawton (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV7164 - Survey of damage to cairn on Hangingstone Hill
  • EDV7165 - Repairs to erosion damage on cairn at Hangingstone Hill

Date Last Edited:Aug 4 2017 9:29AM