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HER Number:MDV20071
Name:Cairn on Butterdon Hill


One of a pair of cairns on Butterdon Hill. This site is included in the local list of Nationally Important Dartmoor sites.


Grid Reference:SX 750 884
Map Sheet:SX78NE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishMoretonhampstead
Ecclesiastical ParishMORETONHAMPSTEAD

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Pair of Bronze Age cairns on Butterdon Hill

Other References/Statuses

  • Dartmoor Non-designated Heritage Asset (Historical): NI Site
  • National Monuments Record: SX78NE30
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 445433
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX78NE/69/1
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SX78NE30

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • CAIRN (Constructed, Early Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 4000 BC (Between) to 701 BC (Between))

Full description

Grinsell, L. V., 1978, Dartmoor Barrows, 158, Moreton. 8. (Article in Serial). SDV273224.

(04/06/1977) SX 75028844 Cairn measuring 7.0 metres in diameter by 1.0 metre in height.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1982, SX78NE30 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV295803.

(08/01/1982) On a small rise on the summit of Butterdon Down at 355m. O.D. are two adjacent cairns, lying in an area of scattered boulders.
The cairn at SX 75048842 is 7.8m. in diameter and 1.1m. high. It has an inner kerb 3.0m. in diameter exposed by a central excavation pit.
On the east side of this cairn, around its base at varying distances from the cairn, there is an apparent semi-circle of spaced stones of rounded boulder type, earthfast and up to 0.3m. high. These may be a fortuitous placement in this boulder strewn area, or a field boundary or even possibly, a peristalith. Unfortunately the thick vegetation prevented the identification of any further stones to clarify the situation.
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.

Not visible on Royal Air Force or National Monuments Record aerial photographs.

ADAS, 1995, Field visit (Report - Survey). SDV295805.

The two cairns cover an area approx 18.0 meters north-west to south-east by approximately 11.5 meters. The north-western cairn is mounded with trace of a ring bank on its north side. The south-east cairn has a regular hollow in its centre, possibly a post prehistoric feature. Stones on the south-eastern edge of this cairn may be part of it.

Gerrard, S., 2004, List of Sites Remaining to be Considered for Designation on Dartmoor (Un-published). SDV345444.

This site was considered for designation as a Scheduled Ancient Monument during the Monument Protection Programme. The programme ended before the entire list of sites was successfully scheduled so this is included on a local list of Nationally Important Sites.

GeoInformation Group Ltd, 2010, 1:625 2010 Colour (12.5cm resolution) (Aerial Photograph). SDV346026.

Outline of both cairns visible on the aerial photography of the area.

Ordnance Survey, 2011, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV346129.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV273224Article in Serial: Grinsell, L. V.. 1978. Dartmoor Barrows. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 36. A5 Paperback. 158, Moreton. 8..
SDV295803Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1982. SX78NE30. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV295805Report - Survey: ADAS. 1995. Field visit. Agricultural Development Advisory Sheet. Unknown.
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.
SDV345444Un-published: Gerrard, S.. 2004. List of Sites Remaining to be Considered for Designation on Dartmoor. Digital.
SDV346026Aerial Photograph: GeoInformation Group Ltd. 2010. 1:625 2010 Colour (12.5cm resolution). 2010 Aerial Photographs. Digital.
SDV346129Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2011. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #82664 ]

Associated Monuments

MDV20070Related to: Cairn on Butterdon Hill (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Jun 24 2022 1:41PM