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HER Number:MDV12771
Name:Probable ring cairn by path on Mardon Down


Earthwork lying 150 metres east of the summit ridge, probably a robbed cairn or enclosure, comprising a curving stony bank forming the outline suggestive of an approximate circle. Badly damaged on the north and north-east sides and mostly effaced on the west by a path.


Grid Reference:SX 768 875
Map Sheet:SX78NE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishMoretonhampstead
Ecclesiastical ParishMORETONHAMPSTEAD

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX78NE21
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 445402
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX78NE/59

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • (Alternate Type) ENCLOSURE (Constructed, Late Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 3000 BC (Between) to 701 BC (Between))
  • RING CAIRN (Constructed, Late Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 3000 BC (Between) to 701 BC (Between))

Full description

Royal Air Force, 19/05/1947, RAF/CPE/UK/2082, 4462-3 (Aerial Photograph). SDV350392.


Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1974/1982, SX78NE21, plan (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV290561.

(16/04/1974) SX 76908758. A circular earthwork 21.0m overall diameter formed by a bank 0.7m high internally and 0.5m high externally. The lower interior may be the result of scrape-up for the bank since no outer ditch is visible. No entrance can be discerned but the north west quadrant has been virtually destroyed by a moorland track.
It is situated on a slight east slope below the crest of Mardon Down and is not a modern work but its date and purpose are obscure.
(04/01/1982) SX 76898759. The earthwork is not quite circular but otherwise is as described by previous recorder (1974). The bank is of stone rubble 2.3m. in width, over-grown with furze and completely destroyed where it adjoins an old track. It could be the remains of a robbed cairn.
Surveyed at 1:2500 on M.S.D.

Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, 1985, Aerial Photograph Project (Dartmoor) - Dartmoor Pre-NMP (Cartographic). SDV319854.

Sub-circular enclosure visible and recorded on 1947 RAF aerial photo.

Turner, J. R., 1990, Ring Cairns, Stone Circles and Related Monuments on Dartmoor, 66 (Article in Serial). SDV229817.

A10. A ring cairn. Stone ring 13.3 metres internal diameter with a bank 2.5 metres wide and 0.6 metres high.

Ordnance Survey, 2014, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV355681.

Enclosure marked.

Newman, P., 2017, A Stone Circle and Cairn Group on Mardon Down, Moretonhampstead, Devon, 11-13, Fig 8 (Report - Survey). SDV360188.

Ring cairn at SX 76891 87596
A probable ring cairn lies 150 metres east of the summit ridge and therefore outside the supposed ‘linear cairn cemetery ’ (MDV105916).
A curving stony bank forms an outline suggestive of an approximate circle, but it has been badly damaged on the north and north-east sides, while the western segment has been mostly effaced by a path that traverses it. The best preserved section is the southern segment, where the bank appears undisturbed. It is up to 5 metres wide at base with a rounded profile of 0.45 metres high. On the north and northeast segments, material has been removed leaving only the hollowed outline of the bank. Although turf covered today, this bank is certainly made up of stone, some of which is visible through erosion at the point where the track crosses it.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV229817Article in Serial: Turner, J. R.. 1990. Ring Cairns, Stone Circles and Related Monuments on Dartmoor. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 48. Paperback Volume. 66.
SDV290561Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1974/1982. SX78NE21. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index. plan.
SDV319854Cartographic: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. 1985. Aerial Photograph Project (Dartmoor) - Dartmoor Pre-NMP. Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England Aerial Photograph P. Cartographic.
SDV350392Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 19/05/1947. RAF/CPE/UK/2082. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 4462-3.
SDV355681Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2014. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #80634 ]
SDV360188Report - Survey: Newman, P.. 2017. A Stone Circle and Cairn Group on Mardon Down, Moretonhampstead, Devon. Southwest Landscape Investigations. A4 Comb Bound + Digital. 11-13, Fig 8.

Associated Monuments

MDV8290Related to: Finds from Cairn on Mardon Down, Moretonhampstead (Find Spot)
MDV30866Related to: Flint found on Mardon Down (Find Spot)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

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

Date Last Edited:Jun 29 2022 9:47AM