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HER Number:MDV5015
Name:Round barrow on North Hessary Tor, Dartmoor Forest


Possible round barrow on North Hessary Tor of 7.0 metrs diameter by 0.4 metres high which some authorities suggest may be a much later pillow mound or flagpole support


Grid Reference:SX 578 742
Map Sheet:SX57SE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishDartmoor Forest
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishWALKHAMPTON

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX57SE90
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 440282
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX57SE/120
  • Old SAM County Ref: 380

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • CAIRN? (Constructed, Early Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 4000 BC (Between) to 701 BC (Between))
  • (Alternate Type) PILLOW MOUND (Constructed, Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1750 AD)

Full description

Unknown source reference (Unattributed Sites and Monuments Register Entry). SDV154762.

Round barrow or cairn on North Hessary Tor, 30.48 metres north of the Ordinance Survey Trig. Point. A cairn surrounded by a shallow ditch. Outside the ditch there was probably a peristalith of medium sized boulders - now not very evident. Cairn seems intact, ditch damaged on east and west sides. OS 6" cvi NE.

Royal Air Force, 1952, 540/960, 5055-6 (Aerial Photograph). SDV252614.

Photograph taken on 4th December 1952.

Dartmoor Preservation Association, 1954, Round barrow, Newsletter 15, December 1954 (Article in Serial). SDV252613.

Western Morning News, 1955, Round Barrow (Article in Serial). SDV252611.

Article dated 23rd September 1955.

Grinsell, L. V., 1978, Dartmoor Barrows, 173 (Article in Serial). SDV273224.

Visited on 29th May 1976. Cairn or mound of stone and soil, with surrounding ditch indicated by rushes; fenced for protection. The presence of the ditch leads Grinsell to question whether a barrow or a circular pillow-mound. Diameter 6.0 metres, height 0.4 metres.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1980, SX57SE90 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV252615.

(16/01/1980) At SX57847422 there is a round barrow 6.2 metres in diameter and 0.3 metres high encircled by a ditch 1.3 metres wide and 0.2 metres deep. The mound is situated very near the top of the tor, but is grass and rush covered, and is now enclosed by a protection fence. Surveyed at 1:10 000 and 1:2500.

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

Not visible on RAF 1946 photographs.

Butler, J., 1994, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Three - The South-West, 33, Map 44 (Monograph). SDV137656.

North Hessary Tor Cairn '1' at SX57847423 of 7.0 metres diameter by 0.4 metres high is protected by a wire fence. The mound is surrounded by a shallow trench unique for a moorland cairn and probably this structure is much more recent in date. Maybe the feature is a pillow mound or a flagpole support.

Bluesky International Ltd/Getmapping PLC, 2015-2017, 2015-2017 Aerial Photographs (Aerial Photograph). SDV361462.

Visible on aerial photograph.

Ordnance Survey, 2021, MasterMap 2021 (Cartographic). SDV364015.

Cairn shown on modern mapping.

Historic England, 2021, National Heritage List for England, 1002504 (National Heritage List for England). SDV364016.

This monument includes a round cairn situated in on North Hessary Tor, an extremely prominent hill which acts as the watershed between the Rivers West Dart, Meavy and Walkham. The cairn survives as a circular stony mound which measures up to 7 metres in diameter and 0.5 metres high. The mound is surrounded by a partially buried ditch up to 1.3 metres wide and 0.2 metres deep.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV137656Monograph: Butler, J.. 1994. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Three - The South-West. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Three - The South-West. Three. Paperback Volume. 33, Map 44.
SDV154762Unattributed Sites and Monuments Register Entry: Unknown source reference.
SDV252611Article in Serial: Western Morning News. 1955. Round Barrow. Western Morning News.
SDV252613Article in Serial: Dartmoor Preservation Association. 1954. Round barrow. 15. Newsletter 15, December 1954.
SDV252614Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1952. 540/960. 5055-6.
SDV252615Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1980. SX57SE90. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. Card Index.
SDV273224Article in Serial: Grinsell, L. V.. 1978. Dartmoor Barrows. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 36. A5 Paperback. 173.
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.
SDV361462Aerial Photograph: Bluesky International Ltd/Getmapping PLC. 2015-2017. 2015-2017 Aerial Photographs. Bluesky International Ltd/Getmapping PLC. Photograph (Digital). [Mapped feature: #133128 ]
SDV364015Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2021. MasterMap 2021. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital.
SDV364016National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2021. National Heritage List for England. Digital. 1002504.

Associated Monuments

MDV51404Related to: Boundary stone north of North Hessary Tor, Dartmoor Forest (Monument)
MDV131561Related to: Cairn north of North Hessary Tor, Dartmoor Forest (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV8714 - Survey of Dartmoor Prison Farm

Date Last Edited:Oct 8 2021 4:37PM