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HER Number:MDV4961
Name:Clearance cairn partly overlying reave, Merrivale

Summary

One of several clearance cairns that lie on or near the Great Western Reave (SX 57 SE 116). There is no evidence to suggest that any of the cairns are of prehistoric origin or are sepulchral in use. It is almost certain that they are the product of stone collection for wall-building in the post-medieval period.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 556 747
Map Sheet:SX57SE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishDartmoor Forest
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishWALKHAMPTON

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX 57 SE 109
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX57SE/83
  • Old SAM County Ref: 333
  • Old SAM Ref Revised: 12/01/1996
  • Old SAM Ref: 24193
  • Pastscape: 440339

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • (Former Type) CAIRN (Bronze Age - 2200 BC to 701 BC (Between))
  • CLEARANCE CAIRN (Constructed, Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1750 AD (Between))

Full description

NMR, SF1510/174 (Aerial Photograph). SDV276855.

Ordnance Survey, 1950, Untitled Source (Site Visit). SDV276848.

Four hut circles, numbered A-D. Hut A. A number of stones occupy this position, some of which are very large and are widely spread. Hut B. In this position is part of an arc of turf covered stones.

Ordnance Survey, 1951, SX57SE11 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV276849.

Hut C. Well defined, 7.0 meters in diameter, 0.5 meters high, width of wall is 1.0 meter. Hut 'D'. 7.0 meters in diameter, width of wall 0.75 meters, wall height is 0.4 meters.

Ordnance Survey, 1979, SX57SE109 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV276851.

There is a cairn 4.4 meters in diameter and 0.4 meters high, partly turf-covered. It contains fist size and slightly larger stones heaped against each side of a reave; the upright slabs of which protrude through the top of the cairn. May be a clearance cairn which is of later date than the bisecting reave. Cairn shown but not described on Ordnance Survey 6 inch 1962 map.

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

No hut circles are visible at this precise point, but a possible cairn is visible incorporated into a reave here. It is not certain, in fact, whether this feature is a cairn or a hut circle.

Gerrard, S., 1995, 133490 (Site Visit). SDV276853.

Round cairn (SX55797475) partly overlying the Great Western Reave. Mound measures 4.3 meters by 3.7 meters by up to 0.75 meters high. The reave is earlier in date than this cairn, and it is not known whether the cairn is of funerary or clearance origin. The Ordnance Survey however believe that a funerary origin is on balance more likely.

Probert, S. A. J., 2000, The Merrivale Guardianship Area, Walkhampton, Devon, 6 (Report - Survey). SDV344969.

(07/02/2000) Several 'cairns' have been identified along the route of the Great Western Reave immediately east of the double stone rows at Merrivale. The function of these cairns has been confused between burial and clearance.
This is one of several clearance cairns that lie on or near the Great Western Reave (SX 57 SE 116). There is no evidence to suggest that any of the cairns are of prehistoric origin or are sepulchral in use. It is almost certain that they are the product of stone collection for wall-building in the post-medieval period, concentrations of original reave material accentuated by the removal of surrounding stone.

Dartmoor National Park + English Heritage, 2004, Merrivale: An Archaeological Landscape, 21 (Leaflet). SDV320201.

Five separate cairns lie on top or adjacent to the reave at Merrivale, post-dating the reave itself (gaps exist where stones have been removed to construct the cairns). Unclear exactly what date these features may have and even their function is disputed; they may in fact by clearance cairns, rather than burial cairns.

DCMS, 2004, Untitled Source (Correspondence). SDV320021.

Scheduled Monument Consent granted for works concerning a five year programme of management works including erosion repairs.

Ordnance Survey, 2010, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV344030.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV276848Site Visit: Ordnance Survey. 1950.
SDV276849Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey. 1951. SX57SE11.
SDV276851Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey. 1979. SX57SE109.
SDV276853Site Visit: Gerrard, S.. 1995. 133490. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset..
SDV276855Aerial Photograph: NMR. SF1510/174.
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.
SDV320021Correspondence: DCMS. 2004. Scheduled Monument Consent Letter.
SDV320201Leaflet: Dartmoor National Park + English Heritage. 2004. Merrivale: An Archaeological Landscape. A5 Stapled. 21.
SDV344030Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2010. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #93537 ]
SDV344969Report - Survey: Probert, S. A. J.. 2000. The Merrivale Guardianship Area, Walkhampton, Devon. English Heritage. 1247982. A4 Comb Bound + Digital. 6.

Associated Monuments

MDV80530Related to: Merrivale Leat (Monument)
MDV15033Related to: Part of the Great Western Reave, Merrivale (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV4830 - Survey of guardianship area, Merrivale

Date Last Edited:Sep 23 2019 4:07PM