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HER Number:MDV13485
Name:Cairn or mound south of Piles Hill stone row on the summit of Piles Hill, Harford


Circular cairn or mound measuring 10 metres diameter by 0.6 metres high with a flat top 4.5 metres across. Not an obvious cairn since the mound appears to be of soil with no surface stone. There is however nothing to suggest that it is of modern origin and it is possibly a small bowl barrow, or perhaps an old peat mound. Geophysical survey in 2022 confirmed this feature is rather different in composition to cairns MDV5708 and 5763 and suggested it may represent a hollow filled with earth and loose stone.


Grid Reference:SX 653 610
Map Sheet:SX66SE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishHarford
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishHARFORD

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX66SE108
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 442081
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX66SE/342
  • Old SAM County Ref: 10561

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • (Alternate Type) CAIRN (Constructed, Early Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 4000 BC (Between) to 701 BC (Between))
  • (Alternate Type) MOUND (Constructed, Early Bronze Age to Post Medieval - 2200 BC (Between) to 1750 AD (Between))

Full description

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1977, SX66SE108 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV151976.

(27/07/1977) At SX 65356104, 100m. north east of a cairn (SX 66 SE 52), there is a circular mound measuring 8.5m. in overall diameter and 0.3m. high with a flat top 4.5m. across. It is not an obvious cairn since the mound appears to be of soil with no surface stone.
There is however nothing to suggest that it is of modern origin and it is possibly a small bowl barrow, or perhaps an old peat mound. Surveyed at 1:10 000 on PFD.

Hankin, C. F., 1977-1980, Harford Parish Checklist (Worksheet). SDV149931.

Site visited on 8th June 1976. North-east of the two prominent cairns on Piles Hill, at 48 metres from the more northerly of the two. On flat, grassy ground which forms the plateau of Piles Hill. A low grass-covered round cairn which has the appearance of not having been disturbed. The mound has not been hollowed. This cairn is much smaller and quite different in character from the other two cairns on piles hill. A burial-type mound. Diameter is 9.40 metres, height less than 0.50 metres and altitude circa 398 metres above OD.

Grinsell, L. V., 1978, Dartmoor Barrows, 140 (Article in Serial). SDV273224.

Site visited on 23rd June 1973. Cairn on Piles Hill. Grass covered. Diameter 10 metres, height 0.3 metres.

National Monuments Record, 1980, SF1743, 76-7 (Aerial Photograph). SDV161746.

Photograph taken on 9th April 1980).

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

Small cairn visible aerial photograph.

Butler, J., 1993, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Four - The South-East, 64, Map 54, Figure 54.22 (Monograph). SDV337765.

Cairn '1' at SX65356103 is 15 metres to the south of Piles Hill double stone row of 9.0 metres diametrer by 0.3 metres high.

Various, 2018-2020, PALs Condition Recording forms, UG34 (Worksheet). SDV362781.

Visited in 2017 prior to this project starting; not revisited. Condition assessed as very good.

Riley, H., 2021, Archaeological Survey: Ugborough Premier Archaeological Landscape, Harford and Ugborough, 12, 7.1.7 (Report - Survey). SDV364697.

One of fifty cairns recorded during survey.

Ordnance Survey, 2021, MasterMap 2021 (Cartographic). SDV364015.

'Mound' shown on modern mapping.

Riley, H., 2021, UG21 heritage asset database and gazetteer of sites (Report - Survey). SDV364699.

Visited on 26th April 2021, surveyed and photographed. Probable cairn south of stone row on Piles Hill: low, turf-covered mound with little stone, 10 metres diameter, 0.6 metres high.

Edwards, M. + Trick, S., 2022, An archaeological magnetometer and resistance survey Land at Piles Hill Stone Row Centred on NGR: 265524,061055 (Report - Geophysical Survey). SDV364932.

Resistance survey detected no ditches here. The mound was detected as a low-resistance feature different to cairns MDV5708 and 5763; possible hollow filled in with earth and very loose stone. The magnetic survey detected a subtle positive arc concentric to the mound, which may represent an encircling ditch. A weak but broad negative arc with short sections of positive arcs adjacent to it may be a bank with ditches, but these may be unconnected with the main feature.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV149931Worksheet: Hankin, C. F.. 1977-1980. Harford Parish Checklist. Parish Checklist. Digital.
SDV151976Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1977. SX66SE108. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV161746Aerial Photograph: National Monuments Record. 1980. SF1743. National Monuments Record Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 76-7.
SDV273224Article in Serial: Grinsell, L. V.. 1978. Dartmoor Barrows. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 36. A5 Paperback. 140.
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.
SDV337765Monograph: Butler, J.. 1993. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Four - The South-East. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Four - The South-East. Four. Paperback Volume. 64, Map 54, Figure 54.22.
SDV362781Worksheet: Various. 2018-2020. PALs Condition Recording forms. PALs Condition Assessment Project Forms. Digital. UG34.
SDV364015Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2021. MasterMap 2021. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV25676Related to: Peat cutting or possible cairn on Piles Hill south of stone row, Harford (Monument)
MDV5662Related to: Stone alignment on Piles Hill, Ugborough (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV8770 - Archaeological Survey: Ugborough Premier Archaeological Lanscape, Harford and Ugborough
  • EDV8817 - Geophysical survey of Piles Hill Stone Row and cairns, Ugborough (Ref: 2111-PIL-R-1)

Date Last Edited:Jul 25 2022 12:20PM