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HER Number:MDV3372
Name:Giant's Basin cairn, Drizzlecombe

Summary

Known as the 'Giant's Basin', or the 'Giant's Grave', this impressive but heavily disturbed cairn lies adjacent to the Drizzlecombe Stone Rows. It measures 24.0m in diameter, a maximum 2.8m high and it is partially turf-covered. An approximately 2.0m wide reed-covered slight depression around its circumference suggests a silted ditch. Much of the central part of the cairn has been removed to a depth of 1.65m and most of excavated material in the form of fist-sized stones and small boulders has been deposited around the rim of the mound. There is evidence of at least two infilled ?excavation trenches which radiate from the centre but there are no surface traces of a retaining kerb or central cist (surveyed in 1999).

Location

Grid Reference:SX 591 669
Map Sheet:SX56NE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishSheepstor
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishSHEEPSTOR

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record (Yes): SX56NE45
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX56NE/77
  • Old SAM County Ref: 462
  • Old SAM Ref: 24104
  • Pastscape: 438626

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • CAIRN (Constructed, Bronze Age - 2200 BC to 701 BC (Between))

Full description

Worth, R. H., 1890, 12th Report of the Barrow Committee, 50-51 (Article in Serial). SDV346007.

Worth, R. H., 1890, The Moorland Plym, 307 (Article in Serial). SDV215949.

Breton, H. H., 1914, Beautiful Dartmoor and its Interesting Antiquities, 50 (I) (Monograph). SDV256843.

Sheepstor and its Border Lands. Breton mentions a 'tiny Kistvaen' at the north-west part of Giant's Basin, at SX 5919 6694. This may however be the same as Grinsell's Sheepstor 33a (SX 56 NE 205).

Royal Air Force, 1948, RAF/CPE/UK/2494, 4128-9 (Aerial Photograph). SDV147533.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1950, SX56NE45 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV231986.

(31/05/1950) Giant's Basin, SX 5920 6694. A large cairn, 24m in diameter and 3m high. Turf covered with large hollow in centre.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1977, SX56NE45 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV231978.

(27/06/1977) On the lower slopes of a south-west facing spur at 33.0 m OD, quite close to three stone rows, is a large turf-covered cairn known as 'Giant's Basin'. It is constructed of fist-sized stones and is in good condition except for a large central depression. Its overall diameter is 23.0m and its height 2.3m. Surveyed at 1:10 000 on PFD.

Grinsell, L. V., 1978, Dartmoor Barrows, 168 (Article in Serial). SDV273224.

(29/07/1972) Cairn with huge hollow towards centre from which the first name derived. Dug into from south-west. Ditch suggested by rushes around circumference. Diameter 25.0m, height 2.2m. Cairn named Giant's Basin or Giant's Grave.

National Monuments Record, 1983, SF2134, 81 (Aerial Photograph). SDV231262.

Robinson, R., 1984, List of Field Monument Warden Visits 1984 (Un-published). SDV343082.

Visited 17/02/1984.

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

Recorded in project.

Quinnell, N. V., 1988, Plan of the Drizzlecombe Stone Rows and associated features (Plan - measured). SDV232055.

Gerrard, S., 1990-2002, Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset., MPP 133416 (Report - Survey). SDV277946.

(12/03/1993) Survives as a 22m diameter stony mound standing up to 3m high. A central hollow of the mound, 8.3m in diameter and 1.4m deep, represents the site of robbing or partial early excavation. A ditch, from which construction material was quarried, surrounds the mound. This has become infilled over the years but survives as a 2.5m wide band of rushes, caused by increased moisture in the buried ditch.

Butler, J., 1994, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Three - The South-West, 137 (Monograph). SDV137656.

Devon Archaeological Society, 1995, The Drizzlecombe Stone Rows (Leaflet). SDV272662.

Department of National Heritage, 1996, Letter (Correspondence). SDV231995.

(10/04/1996) Consent granted for works concerning erosion repairs.

Fletcher, M. + Newman, P. + Probert, S., 1999, Drizzlecombe, Eylesbarrow, Ditsworthy and Hartor areas in the Plym Valley, West Devon (Report - Survey). SDV346268.

(01/06/1999) Giant's Basin: this impressive but heavily disturbed cairn lies adjacent to the Drizzlecombe Stone Rows at SX 5920 6694. It measures 24.0m in diameter, a maximum 2.8m high and it is partially turf-covered. An approximately 2.0m wide reed-covered slight depression around its circumference suggests a silted ditch. Much of the central part of the cairn has been removed to a depth of 1.65m and most of excavated material in the form of fist-sized stones and small boulders has been deposited around the rim of the mound. There is evidence of at least two infilled ?excavation trenches which radiate from the centre but there are no surface traces of a retaining kerb or central cist.

Probert, S. A. J. + Fletcher, M. J., 2002, Plym Valley survey (Report - Survey). SDV350782.

Bluesky International Ltd/Getmapping PLC, 2015-2017, 2015-2017 Aerial Photographs (Aerial Photograph). SDV361462.

Visible.

Various, 2018-2019, PALs Condition Recording forms, UP-DZ 19 (Worksheet). SDV362781.

Visited 05/02/2020. Overall condition good. Photo x2 taken.

Various, 2018-2019, PALs Condition Recording photographs, UP-DZ 19 (Photograph). SDV363073.

Photo 1: View looking 240° showing grass/moss/whortleberry and bracken covering cairn with reeds around its perimeter. Photo 2: View of looking 060° showing grass/moss/whortleberry cover with one reed outcrop in central depression.

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. 137.
SDV147533Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1948. RAF/CPE/UK/2494. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 4128-9.
SDV215949Article in Serial: Worth, R. H.. 1890. The Moorland Plym. Transactions of the Plymouth Institute. 10. Unknown. 307.
SDV231262Aerial Photograph: National Monuments Record. 1983. SF2134. National Monuments Record Aerial Photograph. Unknown. 81.
SDV231978Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1977. SX56NE45. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Unknown.
SDV231986Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1950. SX56NE45. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV231995Correspondence: Department of National Heritage. 1996. Letter. Scheduled Monument Consent Letter.
SDV232055Plan - measured: Quinnell, N. V.. 1988. Plan of the Drizzlecombe Stone Rows and associated features. 1:250. Digital.
SDV256843Monograph: Breton, H. H.. 1914. Beautiful Dartmoor and its Interesting Antiquities. Beautiful Dartmoor and its Interesting Antiquities. 50 (I).
SDV272662Leaflet: Devon Archaeological Society. 1995. The Drizzlecombe Stone Rows. Field Guide. 11. Leaflet.
SDV273224Article in Serial: Grinsell, L. V.. 1978. Dartmoor Barrows. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 36. A5 Paperback. 168.
SDV277946Report - Survey: Gerrard, S.. 1990-2002. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Mixed Archive Material + Digital. MPP 133416.
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.
SDV343082Un-published: Robinson, R.. 1984. List of Field Monument Warden Visits 1984. Lists of Field Monument Warden Visits. Printout.
SDV346007Article in Serial: Worth, R. H.. 1890. 12th Report of the Barrow Committee. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 22. Hardback Volume + Digital. 50-51.
SDV346268Report - Survey: Fletcher, M. + Newman, P. + Probert, S.. 1999. Drizzlecombe, Eylesbarrow, Ditsworthy and Hartor areas in the Plym Valley, West Devon. Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England Report. A4 Comb Bound.
SDV350782Report - Survey: Probert, S. A. J. + Fletcher, M. J.. 2002. Plym Valley survey. English Heritage Archaeological Investigation Report. Unknown.
SDV361462Aerial Photograph: Bluesky International Ltd/Getmapping PLC. 2015-2017. 2015-2017 Aerial Photographs. Bluesky International Ltd/Getmapping PLC. Photograph (Digital). [Mapped feature: #123988 ]
SDV362781Worksheet: Various. 2018-2019. PALs Condition Recording forms. PALs Condition Assessment Project Forms. Digital. UP-DZ 19.
SDV363073Photograph: Various. 2018-2019. PALs Condition Recording photographs. PALs Condition Assessment Project Forms. Digital. UP-DZ 19.

Associated Monuments

MDV14779Related to: Cairn at north-east end of stone row, Drizzlecombe (Monument)
MDV3373Related to: Possible cist near Giant's Basin cairn (Monument)
MDV55251Related to: Small cairns near the Giant's Basin cairn, Drizzlecombe (Monument)
MDV14777Related to: Stone Row, Drizzlecombe (Monument)
MDV14776Related to: Stone Row, Drizzlecombe (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV8155 - Plym Valley Survey
  • EDV4966 - Survey of Drizzlecombe, Eylesbarrow, Ditsworthy and Hartor

Date Last Edited:Feb 13 2020 9:45AM