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HER Number:MDV4216
Name:Natural feature 220 metres north of Conies Down Tor


An undug area of peat, with a few protruding natural slabs, once thought to be a Bronze Age barrow. Currently (2018) still scheduled as a cairn, although this status is being checked with Historic England.


Grid Reference:SX 588 793
Map Sheet:SX57NE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishDartmoor Forest
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishLYDFORD

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX57NE44
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 439697
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX57NE/14
  • Old SAM County Ref: 596
  • Old SAM Ref: 22221
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SX57NE44

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • NATURAL FEATURE (Unknown date)
  • (Former Type) BARROW (Bronze Age - 2200 BC to 701 BC (Between))

Full description

Grinsell, L. V., 1978, Dartmoor Barrows, 147 (Article in Serial). SDV273224.

Grinsell visited on 6/6/1976 (and also refers to visit in 1964 by Spooner)
Barrow of stones and peat: on north edge is a cist (?) placed east-north-east by west-south-west (sic); north-east slab and capstone missing. Diameter measures 25.0 metres, height 0.7 metres.
Doubt on the authenticity of this site is cast by Grinsell.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1979, SX57NE44 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV240589.

(30/10/1979) There is no barrow or cairn at or to the north of Conies Down Tor. At SX 58807914 an elongated rock outcrop 22.5 metres by 9.0 metres and 0.7 metres high has been encroached upon by turf, and may have been mistaken for a barrow/cairn.
Conies Down has been subjected to intensive peat digging and on the summit, at SX 58837938 there is an untouched area of peat, 25.0 metres across and 0.8 metres high.
It is certainly not a barrow. On its north-east perimeter there is a cist-like structure aligned north-east by south-west. The edges of three slabs protrude 0.3 metres from the turf, producing a cist plan with maximum internal measurements of 1.7 metres by 1.0 metres with a buried stone which might be a cover stone.
Some points of doubt arise, however. Firstly, the cist has not been dug out; which is unusual. Secondly, there is a splaying of the side stones; and although this could be the result of pressure from the external build up of peat, it seems unlikely. Thirdly, there is no visible end stone on the east side. Surveyed at 1:10 000 on MSD and at 1:50. See ground photograph.

Robinson, R., 1982, List of Field Monument Warden Visits 1982 (Un-published). SDV342809.

Visited 26/1/1982 Department of Environment Field Monument Warden visit.

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

No photographs available for this site.

Robinson, R., 1986, List of Field Monument Warden Visits 1986 (Un-published). SDV345664.

Visited 6/9/1986 Field Monument Warden visit.

Ancient Monuments, 1992, Schedule description (Schedule Document). SDV254006.

Scheduled Ancient Monument No 596. Round barrow north of Conies Down Tor at SX 58897939.
Round cairn. Diameter 24 metres, height 1 metres. Central hollow in southern part of mound. Surrounded by ditch, from which material quarried to construct mound. This has become partly infilled, but survives as earthwork 3.5 metres wide, 0.2 metres deep on west side, elsewhere as buried feature. Stone cist including three side stones, 1.4 metres by 0.9 metres, situated on north side of mound.

Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England, 1993-1998, Dartmoor Royal Forest Project (Report - Survey). SDV346608.

(11/07/1994) There is no barrow on the summit plateau north of Conies Down Tor. The area has been extensively disturbed by peat cutting, as described by the Ordnance Survey (1979). The alleged cist appears to be no more than a natural feature, with no obvious mound structure.

GetMapping, 2010, GetMapping 2010 aerial photographs (Aerial Photograph). SDV351585.

The 2010 aerial image shows the roughly circular peaty area referred to by the Ordnance Survey in 1979.

Newman, P., 2018, Archaeological Sites within Merrivale Training Area, Dartmoor National Park, Devon: A condition survey on behalf of Defence Infrastructure Organisation, Table 3 (Report - Survey). SDV361635.

439697 - The site of an alleged barrow. No ground evidence. Duplicate record (included in list of sites previously recorded but in this survey either not found, natural features, non-antiquities or duplicates).

Sources / Further Reading

SDV240589Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1979. SX57NE44. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV254006Schedule Document: Ancient Monuments. 1992. Schedule description. The Schedule of Monuments. Unknown.
SDV273224Article in Serial: Grinsell, L. V.. 1978. Dartmoor Barrows. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 36. A5 Paperback. 147.
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.
SDV342809Un-published: Robinson, R.. 1982. List of Field Monument Warden Visits 1982. Lists of Field Monument Warden Visits. Unknown.
SDV345664Un-published: Robinson, R.. 1986. List of Field Monument Warden Visits 1986. Lists of Field Monument Warden Visits. Printout.
SDV346608Report - Survey: Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England. 1993-1998. Dartmoor Royal Forest Project. Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England Field/Recording In. Unknown.
SDV351585Aerial Photograph: GetMapping. 2010. GetMapping 2010 aerial photographs. Getmapping. Photograph (Digital). [Mapped feature: #112641 ]
SDV361635Report - Survey: Newman, P.. 2018. Archaeological Sites within Merrivale Training Area, Dartmoor National Park, Devon: A condition survey on behalf of Defence Infrastructure Organisation. South-west Landscape Investigations. A4 Comb Bound. Table 3.

Associated Monuments

MDV4217Related to: Feature 250 metres south of Devil's Tor (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV7441 - Condition survey of the archaeological sites of Merrivale Training Area
  • EDV7570 - Condition survey of Merrivale Range training area
  • EDV8409 - Dartmoor Royal Forest Project
  • EDV8713 - Merrivale Range: Monument Baseline Condition Survey

Date Last Edited:Aug 23 2021 9:50AM