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HER Number:MDV2368
Name:Ring cairn on Wigford Down, Meavy

Summary

This ring cairn survives as a circular bank measuring up to 3.5 metres wide and 0.75 metres high which surrounds a flat interior up to 17.5 metres in diameter. There is evidence for partial early excavation or robbing on the south west side. Noted in 2019 as a possible 'sacred' pool.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 546 649
Map Sheet:SX56SW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishMeavy
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishMEAVEY

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX56SW/3/1
  • SHINE Candidate (Yes)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

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

Full description

Worth, R. H., 1947, 66th Report of the Barrow Committee, 54-55, plate 10 (Article in Serial). SDV16898.

On or near the summit of Wigford Down, there are five cairns or remains of cairns. Four are shown on the Ordnance Survey 6 inch map series.
Cairn C (about 100 metres to the south-south-east of B) there lies another ring cairn of similar origin, a robbed bowl cairn. Ordnance Survey map calls it a hut circle.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1950, SX56SW6 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV250206.

One of two cairn circles, both in a raised platform. Diameter 10.7 metres.

Ancient Monuments, 1959, Ancient Monuments detail (Report - Survey). SDV250201.

Hut circles west of Wigford Down China Clay Works, one of two, large banked enclosure nearby, 0.6 metres high, 11 metres diameter. Moorland.

Grinsell, L. V., 1978, Dartmoor Barrows, 157 (Article in Serial). SDV273224.

27/7/1972 Uncertain whether a robbed cairn, ring cairn or ruined hut circle. Diameter 15 metres, height 0.3 meters.

Turner, J. R., 1990, Ring Cairns, Stone Circles and Related Monuments on Dartmoor, 68, A39 (Article in Serial). SDV229817.

Stone ring, diameter 10.5 metres, with bank 2.5 metres wide and 0.5 metres high. 3.0 metres wide entrance on southern side.

Butler, J., 1994, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Three - The South-West, 80, Map 48 Figure 48.1 & 48.1.2 (Monograph). SDV137656.

Wigford Down cairn '4' at SX 54696496 of 16.0 metres diameter by 0.6 metres high. One of a pair of cairns lying around 100 metres to the south of the summit group. This one is a circular bank with flat interior but has been dug into and the bank demolished on the south-west side.

Ordnance Survey, 2017, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV359962.

'Cairn circle' is depicted on the modern mapping.

Historic England, 2017, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV359963.

The monument includes a ring cairn and a kerbed round cairn situated within the Wigford Down coaxial field system overlooking the Plym and Meavy Valleys.
The ring cairn is the northern of the two and survives as a circular bank measuring up to 3.5 metres wide and 0.75 metres high which surrounds a flat interior up to 17.5 metres in diameter. There is evidence for partial early excavation or robbing on the south west side.
The kerbed cairn survives as an oval mound measuring up to 10 metres long by 5 metres wide. The cairn has an interior kerb with a 6.3 metre diameter composed of at least 5 massive stones up to 2.4 metres long and 0.9 metres high, four of which are still standing and the fifth is fallen.

Various, 2018-2020, PALs Condition Recording forms, WD-7 (Worksheet). SDV362781.

(24/03/2020) Cairn is covered in vegetation growth – grass/moss and bracken cover with gorse outcrops. Otherwise condition is moderate.

Various, 2018-2020, PALs Condition Recording photographs (Photograph). SDV363073.

Site recorded during condition visit.

Greeves, T. A. P., 2019, Dartmoor's Sacred Pools. Design in the Prehistoric Landscape, 42, Wigford Down B (Article in Serial). SDV363426.

SX 54692 64967 Wigford Down pool B measures 4.5m. One of over 40 such 'sacred' pools identified on Dartmoor that are thought to have potentially been designed during the prehistoric period, and may have been used to deposit votive items, although these Dartmoor examples may have alternative significance as designed prehistoric elements in the landscape. Many are located on ridge tops and in conjunction with cairns, stone rows and other prehistoric features. Further research may well reveal more about these interesting features.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV137656Monograph: Butler, J.. 1994. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Three - The South-West. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Three - The South-West. Three. Paperback Volume. 80, Map 48 Figure 48.1 & 48.1.2.
SDV16898Article in Serial: Worth, R. H.. 1947. 66th Report of the Barrow Committee. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 79. Paperback Volume. 54-55, plate 10.
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. 68, A39.
SDV250201Report - Survey: Ancient Monuments. 1959. Ancient Monuments detail. Unknown.
SDV250206Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1950. SX56SW6. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV273224Article in Serial: Grinsell, L. V.. 1978. Dartmoor Barrows. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 36. A5 Paperback. 157.
SDV359962Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2017. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #84137 ]
SDV359963National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2017. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital.
SDV362781Worksheet: Various. 2018-2020. PALs Condition Recording forms. PALs Condition Assessment Project Forms. Digital. WD-7.
SDV363073Photograph: Various. 2018-2020. PALs Condition Recording photographs. PALs Condition Assessment Project Forms. Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV2367Related to: Kerbed ring cairn on Wigford Down, Meavy (Monument)
MDV2219Related to: Parallel reave system on Wigford Down (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV8316 - Wigford Down PAL survey

Date Last Edited:Apr 16 2021 11:57AM