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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 440672

Hob Uid: 440672
Location :
Devon
West Devon
Peter Tavy
Grid Ref : SX5303083660
Summary : A group of seven damaged Bronze Age cairns located on the west-facing slope of White Hill. They vary in diameter from 3.8m to 19.5m and are from 0.3m to 0.95m high. Investigated as part of the RCHME Willsworthy project.
More information : (SX 53028367) Tumuli (NR). (1)

Three out of the five barrows or cairns on White Down were excavated by the Devon Association about 1888. All three were of different Construction but each had a pan or basin, containing ashes and charcoal, scooped out of the original soil. (According to S Baring-Gould, the largest mound was 'the first to the east'). (2)

SX 530837. Four cairns in a row. One is not on the OS map. Low and flat, it is 12.2m in diameter, 0.6m high and misshapen. The second is dug into, diameter 9.1m height 1.2m. The third has the north side dug away, but the diameter is 12.2m and the height 1.2m. The fourth is a possible disc or else severely robbed. The internal mound is 0.3m high and the outer ring 0.5m high; the total diameter is 60.4m. (3)

A: SX 52948368. A complete ring, 22.0m in external diameter, formed by a bank of earth and small stones 3.8m wide, 0.3m high externally and 0.15m high internally. The slightly raised interior is level except in the north west, where a pit has been dug 4.0m long, 2.0m wide and 0.5m deep; the upcast forms a mound 0.3m high on the west side. This and a small pit in the bank are almost certainly military works. There is no evidence of robbing and while the pit could have coincided with an original off-centre mound it seems more likely that this a simple ring cairn.

B: SX 53008366. A cairn measuring 12.5m east to west and 0.5m high, but much mutilated on the north side. An infilled trench extends from south west to north east.

C: SX 53048365. A cairn measuring 10.2m by 9.2m and 0.6m high with a central pit 4.0m across and 1.1m deep. Very little stone is visible in the sides of this pit.

D: SX 53098364. A cairn, 0.5m high, with a diameter of approximately 13.0m, difficult to ascertain with accuracy because the mound gradually merges into the natural ground level. There is a slight depression in the centre and an east to west cropmark which may denote an infilled trench.

E: SX 53148365. A cairn, 8.6m in diameter and 0.4m high, found during investigation. It has a central pit 4.3m across and 0.5m deep.

F: SX 53018366. First published in 1965 this is a very doubtful cairn and is a mound 6.0m long, 3.0m wide and 0.3m high with traces of a depression to the north east side. It is not recent but gives the impression of an infilled wartime slit-trench.

All the cairns are turf-and heather-covered.

Correlation with authorities 2 and 3 is uncertain, but the five
cairns mentioned by Baring-Gould were possibly (in his east to west order) first SX 58 SW 5),followed by E, D, C, and B. The Anc Mons Scheduling document seems also to record from east to west and to apply to D, C, B and A, though A was the cairn not published at that date. (The diameter of 60.4 m is presumably an error of non-conversion from feet).

With the exception of F, which has been deleted all cairns, surveyed at 1:10 000 on MSD and at 1:500 and 1:2000. (4)

A group of damaged cairns spread out in a line across the west-facing slope of White Hill between 354m and 366m above OD.

SX52948368. A fine ring cairn some 19.5m by 18.5m overall with a pronounced stony bank spread from 4.2m to 5.8m wide. This bank 0.5m high externally and 0.4m high internally is weak in the south quadrant.

An off-centre military slit trench now 0.5m deep is accompanied by an 0.4m high linear upcast bank.

SX53005466. A damaged round carin 12.9m E-W by 10.8 although the north side has been truncated by extensive military activity. The average height of the mound is 0.85m and the line of the infilled excavation trench is still obvious.

SX53058365. A disturbed round cairn 8.5m diameter and 0.95m high. A central hollow 4.4m across and up to 1.1m deep, possibly dug in two phases, has upcast spoil on its N and S sides.

SX53098364. A disturbed round cairn 12.2m in diameter; 0.9m high on the downhill side and 0.2m high on the uphill side. The flat-topped mound has a slight depression possibly an infilled trench; a perimeter ditch is not traceable.

SX53148364. A damaged round cairn 9.5m by 8.5m and 0.35m high. A central hollow 3.5m across and 0.3m deep has an upcast mound on the south side.

SX53028365. An amorphous linear stony bank 9.0m long up to 3.6m wide and a maximum 0.45m high is most probably the remains of military activity, perhaps a slit trench. It could possibly be the remains of an extensively damaged cairn as suggested.

SX53018364. A round cairn 3.8m in diameter and 0.35m high. There is no trace of a kerb.

The cairns are composed of sandstone, shales and soil and are covered by heather moorland. (5)

Depicted by Butler (6)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1965
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Source Number : 2
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : T Devon Ass 20 1888 47-48 (Rev S Baring-Gould)
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Source Number : 3
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Anc Mons Record Form June 1959
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Source Number : 4
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 NVQ 13-AUG-79
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Source Number : 5
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Fletcher M 10-AUG-1998 RCHME Field Investigation
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Source Number : 6
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Butler J 1991 Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities 2 The North map 32 106
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Source : Willsworthy, sheet 7 of 14/CAD generated plan
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Source : Willsworthy, sheet 7 of 14/overlay
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Source : Willsworthy, sheet 2 of 14/overlay
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Source : Willsworthy, sheet 2 of 14/CAD generated plan
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Bronze Age
Display Date : Bronze Age
Monument End Date : -700
Monument Start Date : -2600
Monument Type : Ring Cairn
Evidence : Structure

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 20341
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 20347
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 20348
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 20349
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Devonshire)
External Cross Reference Number : SX 58 SW 3
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : DV 19
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SX 58 SW 4
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : WHITE HILL
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1887-01-01
End Date : 1887-12-31
Associated Activities : FIELD OBSERVATION ON SX 58 SW 4
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1979-08-13
End Date : 1979-08-13
Associated Activities : RCHME: WILLSWORTHY TRAINING AREA, PETER TAVY
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 1998-04-01
End Date : 1998-10-01