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HER Number:MDV19983
Name:Alleged cairn on Chittaford Down


Cairn with cist alleged by Prowse (1891) was confirmed as natural feature in 1989 field survey.


Grid Reference:SX 635 792
Map Sheet:SX67NW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishDartmoor Forest
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishLYDFORD

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX67NW4
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 442519
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX67NW/1/1

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • NATURAL FEATURE (Unknown date)
  • (Former Type) CAIRN? (Early Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 4000 BC to 701 BC)

Full description

Prowse, A. B., 1891, The Ancient Metropolis of Dartmoor, 314, plan (Article in Serial). SDV245176.

A cairn with possible cist described by prowse just east of SX67NW/1. Diameter circa 4.5m.

Grinsell, L. V., 1978, Dartmoor Barrows, 147/lydford 38a (Article in Serial). SDV273224.

(25/07/1976) No traces discovered.

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

Not visible on RAF 1951 aerial photographs.

Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England, 1987-1993, Duchy Farms Project Survey Visit, I. S. Sainsbury (Report - Survey). SDV350839.

(23/08/1989) Prowse's (1891) map is accurate and shows the cairn MDV5832 in its correct position. He also mentions another cairn '5 yards in diameter' which contains 'the remains of a cist'. This is annotated 'Kistvaen' on this map about 40m ENE of the above.
There is no cairn or cist in this area but (contra OS 1978) at SX 63537921 (the position of the Kistvean) is a large partly turf covered flat slab, 1.5m NE-SW by 0.5m wide and about 0.1m thick, resting on another stone within a hollow and surrounded by an earthen mound. The whole is a large outcrop of rock which has been split by stone cutters ( their weathered chisel marks can be seen along the edges of the slab), leaving this slab like piece.
The hollow is caused by digging to obtain access to the store and dumped around its upper side forming an apparently excavated mound with cist in the centre.
There is no doubt from plan position and appearance on the ground that this must have been (understandably) mistaken by Prowse as a cairn and cist.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV245176Article in Serial: Prowse, A. B.. 1891. The Ancient Metropolis of Dartmoor. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 23. 314, plan.
SDV273224Article in Serial: Grinsell, L. V.. 1978. Dartmoor Barrows. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 36. A5 Paperback. 147/lydford 38a.
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.
SDV350839Report - Survey: Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England. 1987-1993. Duchy Farms Project Survey Visit. Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England Archaeological Survey. Unknown. I. S. Sainsbury.

Associated Monuments

MDV5832Part of: Cairn 190 metres west of Archerton (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV8648 - Middle Merripit Farm, Duchy Farms Survey
  • EDV8409 - Dartmoor Royal Forest Project
  • EDV8423 - Duchy Farms Project

Date Last Edited:Feb 14 2022 9:52AM