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HER Number:MDV10429
Name:Cairns, Harpford Common

Summary

Cairns excavated. Pebbled mounds of keyhole type consist of a small rectangular mound usually attached to a circular platform. In all cases the rectangular portion bore finely worked pavement of pebbles, occasionally ornamented and in some cases a whorl was observable. The pavement was moulded to slope gently in all directions from a central line. Below the circular platform a pit has been dug, pebbles or blue stones laid in some pattern and prolonged fires burnt on the floor, the ashes of which were swept to the sides. A mound was then constructed in a series of layers, composed mainly of stoney turves, burnt in the mound, sometimes worked flints were scattered on the surface. The trench around the mound was then filled with turves, not incinerated, and the whole filled up to form the final platform. Author considers parallels with ancient vedic rites in india (carter).

Location

Grid Reference:SY 056 901
Map Sheet:SY09SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishAylesbeare
DistrictEast Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishAYLESBEARE

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Prehistoric and Military Features on Aylesbeare Common

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SY09SE/3
  • SHINE Candidate (Yes)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • CAIRN (Lower Palaeolithic to XXI - 698000 BC to 2009 AD (Between))

Full description

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV108457.

Carter, g. E. L. /pdas/3 part 2 (1937-1947)92-97/the pebbled mounds of aylesbeare common.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV108458.

Carter, g. E. L. /pdas/2(1933-1936)283-294/unreported mounds on woodbury common.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV108459.

Des=oral information from mr g. E. L. Carter of pine hollow, north view road, budleigh salterton.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV108460.

Osa=sy09se7.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV108461.

Mus=exe/213/1975/6.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV108462.

Des=horner, b. /(21/7/1995)/as above.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV108463.

Des=slides/(22/5/1995)/in smr.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV108464.

Des=basford, c. /(4/2/2000)/as above.


BASFORD, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV110891.

Pottery found in pebbled areas appears to be late. Possibly early c20, pre- first world war. Suggests later military activity than simcoe (basford).


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV2244.

Vis=22/5/1995 (horner) three cobbled platforms exposed during rspb nature reserve management works. Also a cobbled pathway (see subsheet 3). Probably same site, or associated, but association of these with modern pottery and with the "soldiers pits" suggests that they are associated with simcoe's manoeuvres rather than prehistoric activity (horner).


Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, Untitled Source (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV24.

Vis=-/7/1953 (os) no visible trace on the ground. No evidence as to antiquity of mounds. Probably 19th century (os).


CARTER, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV47986.

Cairns excavated. Pebbled mounds of keyhole type consist of a small rectangular mound usually attached to a circular platform. In all cases the rectangular portion bore finely worked pavement of pebbles, occasionally ornamented and in some cases a whorl was observable. The pavement was moulded to slope gently in all directions from a central line. Below the circular platform a pit has been dug, pebbles or blue stones laid in some pattern and prolonged fires burnt on the floor, the ashes of which were swept to the sides. A mound was then constructed in a series of layers, composed mainly of stoney turves, burnt in the mound, sometimes worked flints were scattered on the surface. The trench around the mound was then filled with turves, not incinerated, and the whole filled up to form the final platform. Author considers parallels with ancient vedic rites in india (carter).


HUTCHINSON, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV96023.

Vis=14/6/1861 (hutchinson) diaries refer to paved pebbled area on aylesbeare common. Suggested association with soldiers encampment (hutchinson).


Exeter Archaeology, 2003, East Devon Heathlands Archaeological Survey, Site No. 38 (Archive - Survey). SDV358490.


Exeter Archaeology, 2003, East Devon Heathlands Archaeological Survey, Site No. 38 (Report - Survey). SDV359019.


Exeter Archaeology, 2003, East Devon Heathlands Archaeological Survey, 10, Part 1; 10-11, Part 2: Gazetteer, Site No. 38 (Report - Survey). SDV101648.

Site of pebble mounds formerly interpreted as prehistoric cairns. Cobbled platforms (and pathway) exposed during heathland management works in 1995, may represent the former mounds, however, these are likely to be associated with Napoleonic Wars or First World War. In 1995 at NGR SY 0565 9008 three areas of cobbled platforms visible (water worn beach or river pebbles). Platform size estimated 3 metres by 10 metres. Features appear to be terraced into top of slope above large natural amphitheatre around which trackway SMR 09SE/120 (site 37) runs. A possible curving cobbled pathway also visible leading downslope to one of the platforms. Thought likely to be related to General Simcoe’s manoeuvres, and may represent barrack block platforms. Sherds of probable 19th century pottery recovered from surface of exposed platforms. Area on north facing hill slope under dense gorse/heather/grasses 0.5 metre high. No features identified during field survey.


Exeter Archaeology, 2003-2004, East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Archaeological Survey, Site Nos. 2832 and 2833 (Archive - Survey). SDV351568.

Cairn and Hut Platform.
See description in East Devon Heathlands Archaeological Survey 10, Part 1; 10-11, Part 2: Gazetteer, Site No. 38 - SDV101648.


Exeter Archaeology, 2007, East Devon Access Land Archaeological Survey 2007, 27-28, Site Nos. 2832 and 2833 (Archive - Survey). SDV351571.

Site of pebble mounds formerly interpreted as prehistoric cairns. Cobbled platforms (and pathway) exposed during heathland management works in 1995, may represent the former mounds, however, these are likely to be associated with Napoleonic wars or First World War. In 1995 at NGR SY 05659008 three areas of cobbled platforms visible (water worn beach or river pebbles). Platform size estimated 3 metres by 10 metres. Features appear to be terraced into top of slope above large natural amphitheatre around which track way SMR 09se/120 (site 37) runs. A possible curving cobbled pathway also visible leading downslope to one of the platforms. Thought likely to be related to General Simcoe's manoeuvres, and may represent barrack block platforms. Sherds of probable 19th century pottery recovered from surface of exposed platforms. Sherds of probable 19th century pottery recovered from surface of exposed platforms. Area on north facing hill slope under dense gorse/heather/grasses 0.5 metre high. No features identified during field survey.

A terrace, assumed to represent one of the platforms at the top of the slope of a ‘large natural amphitheatre’ is visible from the adjacent track way. This area is under threat from foot traffic. No path runs into this area. Be aware of potential features during vegetation clearance. Possible interpretation as Napoleonic Wars or First World War military site.


Exeter Archaeology, 2008, East Devon Access Land Archaeological Survey 2007, 2 and 3, Site Nos. 2832 and 2833 (Report - Survey). SDV351570.

Some features were reported in the 19th century to be prehistoric, but have since been suggested to be relatively recent, some possibly associated with General Simcoe's troops in the late 18th century.

Early military features include trenches, pits, platforms and mounds.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV101648Report - Survey: Exeter Archaeology. 2003. East Devon Heathlands Archaeological Survey. Exeter Archaeology Report. 03.26. A4 Unbound + Digital. 10, Part 1; 10-11, Part 2: Gazetteer, Site No. 38.
SDV108457Migrated Record:
SDV108458Migrated Record:
SDV108459Migrated Record:
SDV108460Migrated Record:
SDV108461Migrated Record:
SDV108462Migrated Record:
SDV108463Migrated Record:
SDV108464Migrated Record:
SDV110891Migrated Record: BASFORD.
SDV2244Migrated Record:
SDV24Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV351568Archive - Survey: Exeter Archaeology. 2003-2004. East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Archaeological Survey. East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Archaeological Survey. Digital + Mixed Archive Material. Site Nos. 2832 and 2833.
SDV351570Report - Survey: Exeter Archaeology. 2008. East Devon Access Land Archaeological Survey 2007. Exeter Archaeology Report. A4 Stapled + Digital. 2 and 3, Site Nos. 2832 and 2833.
SDV351571Archive - Survey: Exeter Archaeology. 2007. East Devon Access Land Archaeological Survey 2007. East Devon Access Land Archaeological Survey 2007. Mixed Archive Material + Digital. 27-28, Site Nos. 2832 and 2833.
SDV358490Archive - Survey: Exeter Archaeology. 2003. East Devon Heathlands Archaeological Survey. East Devon Heathlands Archaeological Survey. Mixed Archive Material. Site No. 38.
SDV359019Report - Survey: Exeter Archaeology. 2003. East Devon Heathlands Archaeological Survey. Exeter Archaeology Report. 03.26. Site No. 38.
SDV47986Migrated Record: CARTER.
SDV96023Migrated Record: HUTCHINSON.

Associated Monuments

MDV10431Related to: Artefacts Scatter, Harpford Common (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded


Date Last Edited:Jul 7 2017 11:31AM