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HER Number:MDV4163
Name:Cairn 350 metres east of White Tor, Peter Tavy

Summary

One of a group of cairns at White Tor. Described by Gerrard as a long cairn (36 metres by 12 metres), but while the east and west ends of the mound are stony, the area between is largely devoid of stone. Has been described as two cairns in modern survey (2003, 2004 and 2018), so this may be a more likely explanation.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 545 786
Map Sheet:SX57NW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishPeter Tavy
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishPETER TAVY

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX57NW7
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX57NW/52/2
  • Old SAM County Ref: 545B
  • Old SAM Ref: 22205
  • Pastscape: 439741

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • ROUND CAIRN (Early Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 4000 BC to 701 BC (Between))

Full description

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1950, SX57NW7 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV227688.

Site visit 17th July 1950. Disturbed cairn. One of two near a cist to the east of White Tor. 8.7 metres diameter, 0.3 metres high.


Grinsell, L. V., 1978, Dartmoor Barrows, 160. No. 25 (Article in Serial). SDV273224.

Site visit 8th May 1974. Cairn. Diameter 11.0 metres, height 0.4 metres.


Griffith, F. M., 1986, Cairn at White Tor (Personal Comment). SDV227691.

Site visit 24th August 1986. Possibly another small-scale multiple ring type.


Gerrard, S., 1990-1994, Monument Protection Programme (Report - Survey). SDV350743.

Long cairn. Mound measures 36 metres long by 12 metres wide and stands up to 0.6 metres high. East and west ends of the mound are stony, whilst the area between is largely devoid of stone with the exception a fragmentary kerb, which is particularly visible on the s side of the mound. This central area is probably the result of an early partial excavation or robbing. Some doubt concerning identification of this site. All published works and NAR describe this site as two separate round barrows. Field Monument Warden and Monument Protection Programme fieldworker, however believe that there is a strong possibility that the stone kerb running from one distinct mound to the other may represent the kerb of a long cairn. Royal Commission on the Historic Monuments in England believe that this is probably fortuitous patterns of exposed sub-surface stones. There are however no other such exposures within the immediate vicinity of the site. Of more significance is the pear shaped plan of the mound which is typical of Dartmoor long cairns. Furthermore, the close proximity of the nearby Neolithic hillfort on White Tor provides some additional weight for the long cairn identification.


GetMapping, 1999 - 2000, Dartmoor 1999-2000 1:1250 Aerial Photography (digital) (Aerial Photograph). SDV345751.

Cairn is visible on the aerial photography.


Newman, P., 2003, The Langstone Moor Stone Circle, Peter Tavy, Devon and its Prehistoric Environs, 5, Fig. 2 (Report - Survey). SDV255420.

Most westerly of a group of three cairns shown on survey.


Newman, P., 2004, Merrivale Range Baseline Condition Survey (Report - Survey). SDV346874.

Visited 10/08/2004. Condition is poor.


English Heritage, 2013, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV350785.

Long cairn 350 metres east of White Tor summit. The monument includes a long cairn situated on a gentle south-east facing slope overlooking the valley of the River Walkham. The cairn mound measures 36 metres long by 12 metres wide and stands up to 0.6 metres high. The eastern and western ends of the mound are stony, whilst the area between is largely devoid of stone with the exception of a fragmentary kerb which is particularly visible on the south side of the mound. This central area is probably the result of an early partial excavation or robbing.


Newman , P., 2018, Archaeological Sites within Merrivale Training Area, Dartmoor National Park, Devon: A condition survey on behalf of Defence Infrastructure Organisation, 11/01/18 (Report - Survey). SDV361635.

One of a group of three mutilated round cairns, comprising turf-covered stony mounds on an exposed ridge south-east of Whittor on open moorland. Condition is poor, but stable.


National Monument Record, 2018, Pastscape, 1978 and 1987 data (Website). SDV360651.

Three prehistoric round cairns on the eastern slopes of Whittor.
The westerly cairn has a diameter of 9.0 metres and a height of 0.4 metres and consists of an amorphous mass of large scattered stones.
This group of three disturbed and mutilated cairns is situated on a fairly exposed ridge of high ground in open boulder-free moorland and is composed of earth and scattered stones. All three cairns are in a very ruinous condition. Surveyed at 1:10 000 on PFD. See ground photograph (citing Ordnance Survey, 13/10/1978).
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Centred SX54607867. This group of three disturbed and mutilated cairns is situated on a fairly exposed ridge of high ground in open boulder-free moorland.
SX54617864 (Grinsell's no. 26) A disturbed turf-covered cairn of platform type approximately 12m across with a maximum height of 0.5m. The centre and east side are both depressed and mutilated; a number of boulders protrude through the turf but they do not appear to form a multiple ring (not Scheduled). A turf covered spread of stony material lying on or against the east side which measures c 6m by 5.7m and 0.2m in height could be excavation spoil dug from the centre. A scatter of stones and small boulders occurs between the two cairns. Also an apparent boulder/stone line 0.2m high links them. These features are probably fortuitous patterns of exposed sub-surface stones.

The 10 additional cairns depicted around these cairns on the Royal Commission (1985) aerial photograph project transcript could not be traced on the ground and they almost certainly do not exist. The spongy moorland turf in this area is easily disfigured by animal paths, vehicle tracks and water channels. The small sub-circular ditch-type patterns evident on the Royal Commission aerial photograph no. SX5478/1.229 are the result of natural and artificial activity and have no archaeological significance. 'It is not altogether clear why Grinsell chose the northern cairn as the excavated feature as all three more or less fit the siting given in the T.D.A., however, on balance, he is probably correct. It also seems odd that the prominent cairn (no 26) is not Scheduled. The AM report (though inadequate) of 1964 attributed by the SMR to no. 25 seems to best fit no. 26' (citing Fletcher, M. J., 19/11/1987, Royal Commission on the Historic Monuments in England Field Survey data).

Sources / Further Reading

SDV227688Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1950. SX57NW7. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV227691Personal Comment: Griffith, F. M.. 1986. Cairn at White Tor. Not applicable.
SDV255420Report - Survey: Newman, P.. 2003. The Langstone Moor Stone Circle, Peter Tavy, Devon and its Prehistoric Environs. English Heritage Archaeological Investigation Report. 25. A4 Comb Bound. 5, Fig. 2.
SDV273224Article in Serial: Grinsell, L. V.. 1978. Dartmoor Barrows. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 36. A5 Paperback. 160. No. 25.
SDV345751Aerial Photograph: GetMapping. 1999 - 2000. Dartmoor 1999-2000 1:1250 Aerial Photography (digital). Digital. [Mapped feature: #113318 ]
SDV346874Report - Survey: Newman, P.. 2004. Merrivale Range Baseline Condition Survey. Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England Report. Unknown.
SDV350743Report - Survey: Gerrard, S.. 1990-1994. Monument Protection Programme. Monument Protection Programme. Unknown.
SDV350785National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2013. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital.
SDV360651Website: National Monument Record. 2018. Pastscape. http://www.pastscape.org.uk. Website. 1978 and 1987 data.
SDV361635Report - Survey: Newman , P.. 2018. Archaeological Sites within Merrivale Training Area, Dartmoor National Park, Devon: A condition survey on behalf of Defence Infrastructure Organisation. Southwest Landscape Investigations. A4 Comb Bound. 11/01/18.

Associated Monuments

MDV4164Related to: Ring Cairn 340 metres east of White Tor (Monument)
MDV4118Related to: Round cairn and cist 440 metres east of White Tor summit (Monument)
MDV12793Related to: Stony mound 350 metres east of White Tor, Peter Tavy (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV7275 - Survey of the Langstone Moor stone circle and other prehistoric monuments nearby
  • EDV7441 - Condition survey of the archaeological sites of Merrivale Training Area
  • EDV7570 - Condition survey of Merrivale Range training area

Date Last Edited:Sep 7 2018 2:23PM