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HER Number:MDV6867
Name:Ring cairn 230 metres south-east of Cullever Steps

Summary

Cairn surviving as a 0.5 metre high bank surrounding a 4.1 metre diameter internal circular area. The bank around the southern and eastern side of the cairn is faced on both sides with edge set stones. A large flat stone lying on the south western part of the ring bank may represent a displaced cist coverstone. The overall dimensions of the cairn are 9.5 metres east to west by 8.5 metres north to south.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 607 919
Map Sheet:SX69SW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishBelstone
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishBELSTONE

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX 69 SW 22
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX69SW/3
  • Old SAM County Ref: 547
  • Old SAM Ref: 28667
  • Pastscape: 444173

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • CIST? (Early Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 4000 BC to 701 BC (Between))
  • RING CAIRN (Early Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 4000 BC to 701 BC (Between))

Full description

Prowse, A. B., 1890, Notes on the Neighbourhood of Taw Marsh, North Dartmoor, 186-187 (Article in Serial). SDV239781.

About 300 yards (274 metres) south-east of the confluence of the East Okement and Blackaven Brook, and 90 east by south of a small modern bridge carrying a farm track over the former stream is a circle 5 yards (4.57 metres) in diameter (previously unrecorded).
A few stones of small size are still erect, but most are much larger than is usual in hut circles and these have fallen. Prowse believes this to be a small tumulus ring, although he states its small diameter and location on relatively low ground as unusual for this type of monument.


Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/3G/TUD/UK/138, 4436-7 (Aerial Photograph). SDV238391.

Not visible on the aerial photograph (assessed as part of the 1985 Royal Commission on the Historic Monuments in England Aerial Photograph Project).


Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1950, SX69SW22, 8/8/1950 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV223448.

Circle of stones and possible cist remains
This is, without doubt, the remains of a retaining circle of a small barrow. It has all the characteristics and is similar in appearance to others on Dartmoor. The circle is 4.5 metres in diameter and there are eight stones can be identified as belonging to the circle, with a possibility of two more. The north-west perimeter of the circle has disappeared, probably destroyed during the robbing of the cist within the barrow.
The presence of a large flat stone (1.9 metres by 1.0 metre), a perfect coverstone, which lies against and on top of some of the stones in the south-south-west perimeter of the retaining circle, would seem to indicate the former existence of a kistvaen, but there are no positive indications of a cist within the barrow; mainly owing to its past mutilation. However, taking into account the fact that the vast majority of retaining circles of this type on Dartmoor contain kistvaens, plus the evidence of the potential coverstone makes this a distinct possibility.
The eight stones of the retaining circle are all standing, with an average height of 0.4 metres.


Ancient Monuments, 1964, Ancient Monuments details, 9/9/1964 (Report - Survey). SDV223438.

Small round barrow with stone retaining circle visible. Some stones in the centre may be part of a cist. The centre of the barrow appears disturbed. Situated on low ground close to a stream as are a number of small Dartmoor barrows.


Grinsell, L. V., 1978, Dartmoor Barrows, 133 (Article in Serial). SDV273224.

22/5/1976 Cairn with retaining circle 4.8 metres in diameter. Cairn diameter 8 metres, height 0.3 metres. Siting - valley.


Turner, J. R., 1990, Ring Cairns, Stone Circles and Related Monuments on Dartmoor, 72/D11 (Article in Serial). SDV229817.

Ring setting measuring 4.8 metres internal diameter with central cist.


Butler, J., 1991, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Two - The North, Map 40.14, 209 (Monograph). SDV219155.

Nearly 1 kilometre to the south-west of The Nine Stones near Cullever Steps is a smaller cairn circle. About a third of the retaining circle is missing, the rest set as a kerb only 4.5 metres in diameter surrounding a substantial mound. A large block has been exposed in a deep pit in the centre and a flat slab (1.7 by 1.2 metres across) has been propped against the outside of the mound, which may well be a displaced cist cover. Nearby a flint knife of Early Bronze Age date was found lying on the surface after having been exposed by heavy rain.


Gerrard, S., 1992-2002, Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset., MPP 144106, 17/6/1997 (Report - Survey). SDV277946.

Ring cairn. Diameter 4.8 metres. Only evidence for cist is displaced coverstone, 1.9 metres by 1.1 metres by 0.21 metres thick. Pit in centre of cairn measures 2.5 metres by 1.8 metres by 0.5 metres deep. Spoil from pit thrown up to west to form D-shaped mound 4.5 metres by 2.6 metres by 0.7 metres high.


Ordnance Survey, 2017, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV359962.

'Cairn Circle' is depicted on the modern mapping. Map object based on this source.


Historic England, 2017, National Heritage List for England, 1017870 (National Heritage List for England). SDV359963.

Despite partial robbing, the ring cairn 230m south east of Cullever Steps survives comparatively well and contains archaeological information relating to the monument and the environment in which it was constructed.
Details
The monument includes a ring cairn situated below Belstone Tor within the valley of the East Okement River. The cairn survives as a 0.5m high bank surrounding a 4.1m diameter internal circular area. The bank around the southern and eastern side of the cairn is faced on both sides with edge set stones. A large flat stone lying on the south western part of the ring bank may represent a displaced cist coverstone. The overall dimensions of the cairn are 9.5m east to west by 8.5m north to south.
National Grid Reference: SX 60774 91956.


National Monument Record, 2017, Pastscape, Accessed 27/03/2017 (Website). SDV359964.

The remains of this partially excavated cairn comprises a half-circle of a boulder/slab faced bank 0.5 metres high with an extensive spread of spoil on the outside. A large central hollow, 0.5 metres deep has exposed some boulders. The large slab may, as suggested, have been a coverstone (citing Fletcher, M. J., 29/05/2004, English Heritage Field Investigation).

Sources / Further Reading

  • Monograph: Butler, J.. 1991. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Two - The North. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Two - The North. Two. Paperback Volume. Map 40.14, 209.
  • Report - Survey: Ancient Monuments. 1964. Ancient Monuments details. Unknown. 9/9/1964.
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1950. SX69SW22. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index. 8/8/1950.
  • Article in Serial: Turner, J. R.. 1990. Ring Cairns, Stone Circles and Related Monuments on Dartmoor. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 48. Paperback Volume. 72/D11.
  • Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/3G/TUD/UK/138. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 4436-7.
  • Article in Serial: Prowse, A. B.. 1890. Notes on the Neighbourhood of Taw Marsh, North Dartmoor. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 22. Unknown. 186-187.
  • Article in Serial: Grinsell, L. V.. 1978. Dartmoor Barrows. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 36. A5 Paperback. 133.
  • Report - Survey: Gerrard, S.. 1992-2002. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Mixed Archive Material + Digital. MPP 144106, 17/6/1997.
  • Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2017. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital.
  • National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2017. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital. 1017870.
  • Website: National Monument Record. 2017. Pastscape. http://www.pastscape.org.uk. Website. Accessed 27/03/2017.

Associated Monuments

MDV6923Related to: Flint arrowhead found at Cullever Steps (Find Spot)
MDV6865Related to: The Nine Stones, Belstone Moor (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded


Date Last Edited:Mar 27 2017 10:32AM