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HER Number:MDV8310
Name:Cairn 15 metre south of Giant's Grave, Mardon Down

Summary

Cairn 15 metres south of Giant's Grave. This site is included in the local list of Nationally Important Dartmoor sites. Surveyed in 2017, it comprises a flat topped mound with an uneven circular footprint, measuring 10 metres at the base, 0.45 metres high. An additional low earthwork attached to the base, flanks the northern and eastern sides of the mound; material dumped during an unrecorded excavation?

Location

Grid Reference:SX 767 874
Map Sheet:SX78NE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishMoretonhampstead
DistrictTeignbridge
Ecclesiastical ParishMORETONHAMPSTEAD

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Earthworks of two, possibly three prehistoric cairns on Mardon Down, the largest of which is known as the Giant's Grave, part of a line of monuments along the ridge on Mardon Down

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX78NE/28
  • SHINE Candidate (Yes)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

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

Full description

Unatributed Sites and Monuments Register Entry (Unattributed Sites and Monuments Register Entry). SDV263.

Mound, probably a cairn, 32.0 metres south-east of the cairn known as Giant's Grave, measuring 9.0 metres in diameter, height 0.6 metres.


Grinsell, L. V., 1978, Dartmoor Barrows, 157 (Article in Serial). SDV273224.

Site visit 16th April 1974. Moretonhampstead 4. Cairn, measuring 11.0 metres in diameter and 0.7 metres in height with traces of a retaining circle on the south-west side.


Pearce, S. M., 1979, The Distribution and Production of Bronze Age Metalwork, 144 (Article in Serial). SDV322230.


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

Not visible on Royal Air Force or National Monuments Record aerial photographs.


Turner, J. R., 1990, Ring Cairns, Stone Circles and Related Monuments on Dartmoor, 83 (Article in Serial). SDV229817.

Indication of a stone ring or ring cairn beneath the cairn.


Gerrard, S., 2004, List of Sites Remaining to be Considered for Designation on Dartmoor (Un-published). SDV345444.

This site was considered for designation as a Scheduled Ancient Monument during the Monument Protection Programme. The programme ended before the entire list of sites was successfully scheduled so this is included on a local list of Nationally Important Sites.


GeoInformation Group Ltd, 2010, 1:625 2010 Colour (12.5cm resolution) (Aerial Photograph). SDV346026.

Area of the cairn visible on the aerial photograph. Map object based on this source.


Environment Agency, 2011, LIDAR data JPEG images (2 metre resolution) (Cartographic). SDV348634.

Cairn visible.


Ordnance Survey, 2011, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV346129.

Cairn marked on the modern mapping, slightly to the south-east of its location on the 2010 aerial photograph.


Newman , P., 2017, A Stone Circle and Cairn Group on Mardon Down, Moretonhampstead, Devon, 7-10, Fig 6, 16 (Report - Survey). SDV360188.

Cairn at SX 76770 87423
This cairn is located 15 metres south of ‘Giants Grave’ on the northern end of the summit ridge. It comprises a flat topped mound with an uneven circular footprint and a diameter of 10 metres at base and 0.45 metres high. An additional low earthwork attached to the base, flanks the northern and eastern sides of the mound. This is likely to be material that was dumped when an unrecorded excavation created a central trench across the top of the mound.
The trench is 6 metres long by 3 metres wide and up to 0.29 metres deep. The date of this intervention is not known but it is tempting to equate it with the 18th century investigation mentioned by Polwhele.
A single small slab, apparently set upright, on the southwest arc of the mound survives. It is unlikely to have been part of a stone setting or kerb, because the robbing of its counterparts, which are not present, would have disrupted the profile of the mound, which remains well defined.
Less than 1 metre to the north of the cairn is a spread, stony, linear earthwork which runs past it in a north-north-east to south-south-west alignment. It is 3.3 metres wide but only 0.2 metres high in the centre. This is very likely to be a reave, one of several known to exist on Mardon Down. Although this feature fades out to the west of the summit path, it can be traced for some distance down the eastern slope.
On the south side of the cairn, almost touching it, is another linear earthwork, but on a different alignment. It measures 3 metres wide and is certainly one of the medieval or later ridge and furrow earthworks, which cover much of the eastern flank of Mardon Down.
Surveyed at 1:200 scale.


Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, Unknown, SX78NE6 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV295056.

Site visit 21st October 1953. Probably a cairn in good condition with a 'set' stone in southern quadrant which may represent the sole remains of a retaining circle.
Site visit 4th January 1982. The cairn is generally as described by Grinsell.

Sources / Further Reading

  • 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. 83.
  • Unattributed Sites and Monuments Register Entry: Unatributed Sites and Monuments Register Entry.
  • Article in Serial: Grinsell, L. V.. 1978. Dartmoor Barrows. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 36. A5 Paperback. 157.
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. Unknown. SX78NE6. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
  • 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.
  • Article in Serial: Pearce, S. M.. 1979. The Distribution and Production of Bronze Age Metalwork. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 37. 144.
  • Un-published: Gerrard, S.. 2004. List of Sites Remaining to be Considered for Designation on Dartmoor. Digital.
  • Aerial Photograph: GeoInformation Group Ltd. 2010. 1:625 2010 Colour (12.5cm resolution). 2010 Aerial Photographs. Digital.
  • Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2011. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital).
  • Cartographic: Environment Agency. 2011. LIDAR data JPEG images (2 metre resolution). Digital.
  • Report - Survey: Newman , P.. 2017. A Stone Circle and Cairn Group on Mardon Down, Moretonhampstead, Devon. Southwest Landscape Investigations. A4 Comb Bound + Digital. 7-10, Fig 6, 16.

Associated Monuments

MDV105916Part of: Cairn Cemetery on Mardon Down (Monument)
MDV8290Related to: Finds from Cairn on Mardon Down, Moretonhampstead (Find Spot)
MDV8309Related to: Giant's Grave cairn, Mardon Down (Monument)
MDV119196Related to: Gun pit 40 metres north-east of seasonal pond on Mardon Down (Monument)
MDV119195Related to: Gun pit 60 metres north-east of Giant's Grave, Mardon Down (Monument)
MDV105981Related to: Ridge and Furrow on Mardon Down, Moretonhampstead (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV7270 - Survey of cairn cemetery, stone circle and other earthworks on Mardon Down

Date Last Edited:May 23 2017 10:49AM