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HER Number:MDV4151
Name:RING CAIRN in the Parish of Peter Tavy

Summary

On Cox Tor at 442m OD a rock shelf is surmounted by a further outcrop about 13.0m across, which protrudes some 0.5m to 3.0m above the base of a virtually continuous bank of small stones constructed around the out crop, with an overall diameter of about 30m by 32m. The bank averages 9.0m wide overall, the top being about 3.0m from the perimeter of the outcrop; externally it is up to 2.5m high and on the inner face about 0.8m high. Here some disturbance has resulted from building shelters in the lee of the outcrop.
It is not a Jubilee cairn; apart from the vast size (Grinsell has underestimated or subtracted the outcrop from the diameter). Had a commemorative cairn existed it would surely have been noted by Crossing. It is not an enclosure in the defensive or pastoral sense.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 530 761
Map Sheet:SX57NW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishPeter Tavy
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishPETER TAVY

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX57NW39
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 439836
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX57NW/40
  • Old SAM County Ref: 416A
  • Old SAM Ref: 22225

Monument Type(s) and Dates

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

Full description

SEE SUBSHEET, Untitled Source (Report - Survey). SDV225478.

Vis=-/-/1992 (ancient monuments) scheduled area includes hut circle 11m ne (see subsheet) (am).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV225479.

Osa=sx57nw39. (10/08/1950 (os) mean diameter at base 30.0m, height of bank on south 3.5m and on north 2.8m. A large amount of natural rock in centre.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV225481.

Worth, r. N. /tda/25(1893)544.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV225484.

Brent, f. /jbaa/39(1883)220/on a group of prehistoric remains on dartmoor.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV225486.

Butler, j. /dartmoor atlas of antiquities - the north/(1991)83.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV225487.

Des=wilson-north, r. /(18/7/1991)/rchme field investigation.

Ancient Monuments, Untitled Source (Report - Survey). SDV225469.

Vis=-/1/1959 (ancient monuments) one of three cairns on cox tor. Massive ring of small stones encircling a rocky outcrop, about 31.7m in diameter. Some of the burrowings into the cairn appear to be modern.

Baring Gould, S., 1898, Fifth Report of the Dartmoor Exploration Committee, 104-5 (Article in Serial). SDV337066.

An ancient wall, 4 to 5 feet high, surrounds the granite summit of Cox Tor enclosing a space 70 feet in diameter. There is no trace of a cairn in the centre apart from the 1887 Jubilee cairn, but to one side there is a collection of stones which may be a cairn.

Crossing, W., 1912 (1965), Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor, 149 (Monograph). SDV320981.

The higher pile of the Tor is surrounded by a low vallum of stones the purpose of which is unclear unless it may have been intended to build a cairn round the rocks as at Shell Top and Lynch Tor.

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

(07/05/1974) Stoneheaps, shown on OS maps as a cairn, may be remains of cairn erected for 1887 Jubilee. A 'low vallum of stones' surrounding the higher outcrop (enclosure or ring cairn?) diameter 25.0m approximately.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1980, SX57NW39 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV225473.

(04/11/1980) On Cox Tor at 442m OD a rock shelf is surmounted by a further outcrop about 13.0m across, which protrudes some 0.5m to 3.0m above the base of a virtually continuous bank of small stones constructed around the out crop, with an overall diameter of about 30m by 32m.
The bank averages 9.0m wide overall, the top being about 3.0m from the perimeter of the outcrop; externally it is up to 2.5m high and on the inner face about 0.8m high. Here some disturbance has resulted from building shelters in the lee of the outcrop.
It is not a Jubilee cairn; apart from the vast size (Grinsell has underestimated or subtracted the outcrop from the diameter). Had a commemorative cairn existed it would surely have been noted by Crossing. It is not an enclosure in the defensive or pastoral sense.
The structure is a large and fine example of a ring cairn where the focus is a tor or outcrop.
(cf Showery Tor, Bodmin Moor).
Surveyed at 1:10000 on MSD and at 1:2500.

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

(18/07/1991) SX 5304 7619. A Tor cairn, now disturbed, is as described in 1980. Modern erosion continues to degrade the feature. In addition visitors to the site have removed and added stone to this cairn. See RCHME Cox Tor Survey (1/2500 scale).

Turner, J. R., 1990, Ring Cairns, Stone Circles and Related Monuments on Dartmoor, 69, a59. (Article in Serial). SDV229817.

Stone ring encircling tor. Diameter 16m internally with bank 3m wide and 2m high (turner).

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

(1992) Continuous bank of small stones 9.5m wide, 2.5m high, situated around a 13m diameter outcrop. Overall diameter 32m. Limited damage from construction of 3 shelters constructed into cairn material. The largest of these measures 6m by 2-3m and is largely backfilled. The others are circular and may be relatively recent. Ordnance Survey triangulation pillar sits on east side of cairn bank. No evidence for Baring-Gould's assertion that it was erected in 1887, though it may have been robbed to provided stone for the 1887 cairn, of which no trace survives. A short length of field boundary immediately to east is excluded from the scheduled area.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV225469Report - Survey: Ancient Monuments.
SDV225473Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1980. SX57NW39. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV225478Report - Survey: SEE SUBSHEET.
SDV225479Migrated Record:
SDV225481Migrated Record:
SDV225484Migrated Record:
SDV225486Migrated Record:
SDV225487Migrated Record:
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. 69, a59..
SDV273224Article in Serial: Grinsell, L. V.. 1978. Dartmoor Barrows. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 36. A5 Paperback. 161.
SDV277946Report - Survey: Gerrard, S.. 1990-2002. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Mixed Archive Material + Digital.
SDV320981Monograph: Crossing, W.. 1912 (1965). Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor. Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor. Hardback Volume. 149.
SDV337066Article in Serial: Baring Gould, S.. 1898. Fifth Report of the Dartmoor Exploration Committee. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 38. A5 Hardback. 104-5.
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: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV8423 - Duchy Farms Project

Date Last Edited:Aug 31 2021 3:56PM