HeritageGateway - Home
Site Map
Text size: A A A
You are here: Home > > > > Devon & Dartmoor HER Result
Devon & Dartmoor HERPrintable version | About Devon & Dartmoor HER | Visit Devon & Dartmoor HER online...

See important guidance on the use of this record.

If you have any comments or new information about this record, please email us.

HER Number:MDV21
Name:Cairn to South of Widow's Tenement, Lundy


Large cairn, 20 metres diameter and o.7 metres high. It has variously been interpreted as a cairn, or the remains of a defensive round tower or a windmill.


Grid Reference:SS 135 465
Map Sheet:SS14NW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishLundy
Ecclesiastical ParishLUNDY

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Trust SMR: 108128
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS14NW/6
  • Old SAM County Ref: 738
  • Old SAM Ref: 27638
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SS14NW/SW8

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • CAIRN (Unknown date)

Full description

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1962 - 1977, SS14NW/SW8 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV8241.

Site visit 18th May 1962. A cairn of loose stone and small boulders 12 metres by 10 metres, 0.7 metres high. The centre has been hollowed out exposing possible remains of a cist. Remains of a stone retaining circle on south-west and south-east sides. Gardner suggests it is more likely a windmill base than a cairn.

Gardner, K. S., 1964, Untitled Source, 32 (Article in Serial). SDV17867.

Ministry of Public Building and Works, 1969, Lundy, Mound South of Widow's Tenement (Schedule Document). SDV344714.

Roughly circular mound of turf and boulders built on a slight natural rise with granite outcrop visible on west side. It is 4-5 feet high with a 1 foot depression in the centre. It could be a round cairn that has been robbed or the remains of a circular building whose centre has collapsed. It is marked as 'Round Tower' on the 1903 6 inch Ordnance Survey map. Some sources suggest that it was the base of a windmill but this seems unlikely.

Gardner, K. S., 1972, Untitled Source, 21 (Monograph). SDV5837.

National Trust, 1989, Lundy, Devon. Vol. One, 43-4 (Report - Survey). SDV1275.

Other details: 101,063.

Department for Culture, Media and Sport, 1998, Cairn 325m North West of Tibbett's Lookout, Lundy (Schedule Document). SDV344715.

The monument includes a large cairn 325 metres north-west of Tibbet's Lookout. The cairn in 20 metres in diameter and stands 0.7 metres high, making it one of the larger burial cairns on Lundy. A stone kerb is visible on the south-west and south-east sides. A hollow in the cetnre of the mound may be the result of an excavation, although no details are known. The cairn is larger and more elaborately constructed that other examples on Lundy. It is a kerbed cairn and survives well despite having been disturbed by excavation in the past.

National Trust, 1998, The National Trust Sites and Monuments Record. Compressed Site Reports. Lundy. SMR Sites Nos 108000-108150, 108128 (Report - non-specific). SDV344688.

Ovoid, stony mound, partly built over a natural, stony rock outcrop, situated 66 metres south of Threequarter Wall. The centre appears to have been hollowed-out by robbing or excavation, revealing a number of large, granite slabs which may be the remains of a cist/robbed-out cairn or a circular building whose centre has collapsed. The cairn-like feature on top consists of small, loose stones and boulders and has a diameter of circa 12.0 metres east to west by circa 10.0 metres north to south and is approx 0.70 metres high. Dimensions of inner hollow, circa 3.0 metres by 5.0 metres. There are several stones and boulders in the central area with some on the outer, southern edge suggesting some form of kerbing. Some of the stones on the inner edge of the hollow also suggest a wall or inner kerbing. One granite boulder is much finer-grained and has relatively smooth, rounded surfaces. It is unlike other granite in this area, but does have similarities with lower courses of stone in Threequarter Wall. A small fragment of worked flint was also found in the central area from material disturbed by rabbit activity. This feature is marked as a 'Round Tower (remains of)' on the 1903 6 inch Ordnance Survey map, but as 'Cairn' on the later edition. Current opinion is divided between its being a robbed burial cairn and the base of a windmill. The latter may derive from the description in the North Devon Magazine,1824, referring to a journal of a visit in 1787, which states that 'in our return [from the north end] we viewed the remains of a windmill'. The presence of millstone 'rough-outs' lying abandoned in and around Widow's Tenement may lend some credence to this theory. Chanter, writing in 1877, states that 'the traces of several round towers, the origin and use of which are not known, still remain' which he suggests have the appearance of Irish round towers. According to Chanter this site is the best- preserved of those ruined sites which survive and he alludes to another which recently stood just above the landing place. His map of 1877 shows two sites of ancient round towers, this one, and one on Tibbett's Hill. Lloyd's 1925 description is derived from Chanter but his map shows this one, correctly located, and another one just to its north-west, on the north side of Threequarter Wall. This is most likely the natural knoll/outcrop mistakenly alluded to as a round tower (National Trust Record 108111).

Ordnance Survey, 2010, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV344030.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV1275Report - Survey: National Trust. 1989. Lundy, Devon. Vol. One. National Trust Archaeological Survey Report. 1. A4 Stapled + Digital. 43-4.
SDV17867Article in Serial: Gardner, K. S.. 1964. Lundy Field Society Annual Report. 17. Unknown. 32.
SDV344030Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2010. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #82966 ]
SDV344688Report - non-specific: National Trust. 1998. The National Trust Sites and Monuments Record. Compressed Site Reports. Lundy. SMR Sites Nos 108000-108150. The National Trust Sites and Monuments Record. A4 Stapled + Digital. 108128.
SDV344714Schedule Document: Ministry of Public Building and Works. 1969. Lundy, Mound South of Widow's Tenement. The Schedule of Monuments. Foolscap.
SDV344715Schedule Document: Department for Culture, Media and Sport. 1998. Cairn 325m North West of Tibbett's Lookout, Lundy. The Schedule of Monuments. A4 Stapled.
SDV5837Monograph: Gardner, K. S.. 1972. The Archaeology of Lundy. Photocopy + Digital. 21.
SDV8241Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1962 - 1977. SS14NW/SW8. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.

Associated Monuments

MDV18Related to: Widow's Tenement Medieval Settlement, Lundy (Monument)
MDV18203Related to: Windmills on Lundy (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Aug 27 2010 9:12AM