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HER Number:MDV5193
Name:Western White Barrow with a shelter and re-erected cross built on top, Dartmoor Forest


Western White Barrow with a shelter and re-erected cross built on top


Grid Reference:SX 653 654
Map Sheet:SX66NE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishDartmoor Forest
Civil ParishSouth Brent
DistrictSouth Hams
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishSOUTH BRENT

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX66NE/19
  • Old SAM County Ref: 1010

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • CAIRN (Constructed, Late Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 3000 BC to 701 BC (Between))

Full description

Crossing, W., 1888, Amid Devonia's Alps; or Wanderings and Adventures on Dartmoor, 34 (Monograph). SDV152959.

Baring Gould, S., 1900, A Book of Dartmoor, 211 (Monograph). SDV277387.

Crossing, W., 1912 (1965), Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor, 371 (Monograph). SDV320981.

Worth, R. H., 1967, Worth's Dartmoor, 164 (Monograph). SDV337618.

The barrow was 'partly remodelled' to provide a dwelling for workers at Redlake Peat Works.

Gill, C. (ed.), 1970, Dartmoor: a New Study, 279 (Monograph). SDV161800.

Grinsell, L. V., 1978, Dartmoor Barrows, 154 (Article in Serial). SDV273224.

Site visited on 23rd June 1976. Mutilated cairn. Diameter 20 metres, height 2 metres.

Robinson, R., 1978, South Brent Parish Checklist (Un-published). SDV137445.

Site visited on 5th May 1977. This cairn is composed of granite boulders with very little grassing over. The rebuilding as a peat cutters house is still clear with a fireplace at the north end, and two rooms.

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

Visible on RAF photograph.

Butler, J., 1993, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Four - The South-East, 159, Map 57 (Monograph). SDV337765.

Western White Barrow at SX65346548 with one of the four Petre's Crosses erected at the centre where it stood for nearly 300 years before being broken up by peat cutters in about 1847. These men built a large building of circa 10.0 metres by 3.5 metres.across the centre of the cairn. Only the west end containing the chimney remains. The arms of the cross were used to provide a lintel for the chimney. The missing portions and socket base still presumably lurking amongst the stones of the cairn. The now limbless cross has been re-erected upside down with the tenon for the socket uppermost. Part of the cairn might be intact below the foundations of the house but little else can be expected to have survived undisturbed.

English Heritage, 2005-2008, Prehistoric Survey Information (Cartographic). SDV345521.

Cairn shown on survey.

National Monuments Record, 2020, Pastscape, 441456, SX66NE36 (Website). SDV363416.

Site visited on 4th May 1950. Cairn (diameter 19.0 metres, height 1.5 metres) with large hollow in centre.
Field Investigation on 17th July 1977. Western White Barrow is a large cairn, 21 metres by 17.5 metres and a maximum of 1.7 metres high, and lies on the summit of a broad level hill at 480 metres above OD. It has been badly mutilated by the construction of a two room building, with fireplace, 11.5 metres by 4.7 metres overall, within its mass, and its original form is
conjectural. Petre's Cross has been set up upon the cairn.

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

Cairn shown on modern mapping.

Historic England, 2021, National Heritage List for England, 1002661 (National Heritage List for England). SDV364016.

This monument includes a round cairn, wayside cross and shelter situated on the summit of a ridge known as Quickbeam Hill. The round cairn survives as a circular stony mound measuring up to 21 metres in diameter and 1.7 metres high. The wayside cross is positioned on the cairn, but is inverted. It measures 1.3 metres high and is of rectangular section with both arms broken off. It was one of four set up by Sir William Petre, who had purchased Brent Manor after the Dissolution of the Monasteries from Buckfast Abbey in 1557 and was used to mark the bounds of the Forest of Dartmoor in 1557 and 1786. The round cairn has been disturbed by the construction of a two roomed shelter within the structure of the cairn itself measuring 11.5 metres long by 4.7 metres wide and having a fireplace and chimney. This was constructed in about 1847 by workers at the Red Lake peat ties, in connection with the Naptha Works at Shipley, who re-used the cross as a chimney lintel at the same time. Following the partial destruction of the building the cross was re-erected.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV137445Un-published: Robinson, R.. 1978. South Brent Parish Checklist. Parish Checklist.
SDV152959Monograph: Crossing, W.. 1888. Amid Devonia's Alps; or Wanderings and Adventures on Dartmoor. Amid Devonia's Alps; or Wanderings and Adventures on Dartmoor. Digital. 34.
SDV161800Monograph: Gill, C. (ed.). 1970. Dartmoor: a New Study. Dartmoor: a New Study. Hardback Volume. 279.
SDV273224Article in Serial: Grinsell, L. V.. 1978. Dartmoor Barrows. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 36. A5 Paperback. 154.
SDV277387Monograph: Baring Gould, S.. 1900. A Book of Dartmoor. A Book of Dartmoor. Unknown. 211.
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.
SDV320981Monograph: Crossing, W.. 1912 (1965). Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor. Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor. Hardback Volume. 371.
SDV337618Monograph: Worth, R. H.. 1967. Worth's Dartmoor. Worth's Dartmoor. A5 Hardback. 164.
SDV337765Monograph: Butler, J.. 1993. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Four - The South-East. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Four - The South-East. Four. Paperback Volume. 159, Map 57.
SDV345521Cartographic: English Heritage. 2005-2008. Prehistoric Survey Information. English Heritage. Digital.
SDV363416Website: National Monuments Record. 2020. Pastscape. https://www.pastscape.org.uk/. Website. 441456, SX66NE36.
SDV364015Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2021. MasterMap 2021. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #129026 ]
SDV364016National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2021. National Heritage List for England. Digital. 1002661.

Associated Monuments

MDV13192Related to: Boundary stone known as Little Petre to the north-east of Petre's Cross, Dartmoor Forest (Monument)
MDV5184Related to: Eastern White Barrow with an additional small tower, South Brent (Monument)
MDV5192Related to: Petre's Cross within Western Whitebarrow, Dartmoor Forest (Monument)
MDV28057Related to: Ruined building at Western Whitebarrow, Dartmoor Forest (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV8082 - Survey of the Upper Erme Valley

Date Last Edited:Feb 27 2021 9:25AM