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HER Number:MDV4108
Name:Bronze Age cairnfield on Cox Tor

Summary

A Bronze Age cairnfield on Cox Tor within a large coaxial field system which covers most of Whitchurch Common. The cairnfield includes a cluster of at least 13 mounds varying in diameter between 4.2m and 9.5m and height of 0.3m to 1m high. Six of the mounds have been robbed or partially excavated. Previously identified as field clearance cairns. Scheduled

Summary from record MDV56587:
There is a cluster of small cairns on the s slope of cox tor, 200 feet below the summit. Five of them are certainly sepulchral. The 2 excavated were 9 feet by 4 feet although originally circular, and 1.5 feet high, composed of earth and stones. Nothing was found (nmr, citing tda).

Location

Grid Reference:SX 528 756
Map Sheet:SX57NW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishPeter Tavy
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishPETER TAVY

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX57NW75
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 439934
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX57NW/221
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX57NW/6
  • Old SAM Ref: 22361
  • Old SAM Ref: 22364

Monument Type(s) and Dates

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

Full description

Baring Gould, S., 1898, Fifth Report of the Dartmoor Exploration Committee, 106 (Article in Serial). SDV337066.

There is a cluster of small cairns on the south slope of Cox Tor (SX 530 761) 200 feet below the summit. Five of them are certainly sepulchral. The two excavated were 9 feet by 4 feet although originally circular and 1.5 feet high composed of earth and stones. Nothing was found.

Breton, H. H., 1912, Beautiful Dartmoor III. Southern Quarter, Pp 13-14 (Monograph). SDV250997.

Grinsell, L. V., 1978, Dartmoor Barrows, 161 (Article in Serial). SDV273224.

SX 531 760: Around Cox Tor a group of small cairns probably the stone heaps (SX 57 NW 39) mentioned by Breton in 1912 (at SX 53027642, SX 53047642, SX 53037635 and SX 53057619)

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1980, SX57NW75 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV228409.

(10/11/1980) Centred at SX 5276 7571 is a group of thirteen cairns situated at about 384 metres OD on a very slight slope in an area of bracken. They are evidently the group referred to by authority 1 being about 84 metres (250 feet) below the tor plateau. Grinsell has incorrectly assigned the cairns to the large ring cairn on the top. Seven of the cairns are circular between 3.8 metres and 9.2 metres in diameter and from 0.3 metres to 0.4 metres high. Six are elongated or have been excavated or damaged to produce this form; generally it is 6 metres by 4 metres and 0.3 metres to 0.4 metres high. One at SX 5279 7569 has a slit trench dug against its north east side. Each cairn is constructed of small stones with no specific features. The area is clear of stone save for a very few large boulders though numerous hummocks may conceal other stones.
For sepulchral cairns their close proximity all within 1.5 hectares is exceptional for Dartmoor and the impression is that of field clearance heaps although so far as can be seen there is no prehistoric field system in the immediate vicinity and no evidence of later ploughing.
No reason is given why five were considered sepulchral when nothing was found in the two excavated (1). The three cairns of large diameter (A, B, & C on plan) might be acceptable in isolation but there seems little reason to discriminate within the group.
Surveyed at 1:2500 on MSD.

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

Not visible on Royal Air Force verticals.

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

(10/07/1991) SX 5276 7571: An irregular system of field clearance cairns on south west facing slopes at 345 metres OD. As described by Authority 3 but with a few additions.
See RCHME Cox Tor Survey (1/2500 survey).

English Heritage, 2001, Cairnfield and two stone hut circles 490m and 550m south west of Cox Tor (Schedule Document). SDV223158.

(11/12/2001) SX 5276 7572: A Bronze Age cairnfield on Cox Tor within a large coaxial field system which covers most of Whitchurch Common. The cairnfield includes a cluster of at least 13 mounds varying in diameter from 4.2 metres and 9.5 metres and standing from 0.3 metres to 1 metre high. Six of the mounds have been robbed or partially excavated. Scheduled.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV223158Schedule Document: English Heritage. 2001. Cairnfield and two stone hut circles 490m and 550m south west of Cox Tor. The Schedule of Monuments. Unknown.
SDV228409Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1980. SX57NW75. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV250997Monograph: Breton, H. H.. 1912. Beautiful Dartmoor III. Southern Quarter. Beautiful Dartmoor III. Southern Quarter. Unknown. Pp 13-14.
SDV273224Article in Serial: Grinsell, L. V.. 1978. Dartmoor Barrows. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 36. A5 Paperback. 161.
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.
SDV337066Article in Serial: Baring Gould, S.. 1898. Fifth Report of the Dartmoor Exploration Committee. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 38. A5 Hardback. 106.
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.

Associated Monuments

MDV26283Related to: HUT CIRCLE in the Parish of Peter Tavy (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV8423 - Duchy Farms Project

Date Last Edited:Sep 3 2021 11:45AM