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HER Number:MDV5763
Name:Summit cairn on Piles Hill, Harford

Summary

A bell-cairn of Wessex type on Piles Hill. It is 29m in overall diameter and comprises a platform 0.3m high with the perimeter raised to a height of 0.5m by the formation of a bank of stones incorporating a possible double row of orthostats although only the tops of these protrude. Centrally placed within the platform is a mound 17.0m in diameter and 0.7m high; it has suffered minor damage with evidence of an excavation trench on the north side. The cairn could be described as a rimmed platform with central mound and is not common though examples occur in Cornwall on St. Breock Downs and Bodmin Moor. Surveyed by the Ordnance Survey in 1950 and 1977.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 653 608
Map Sheet:SX66SE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishHarford
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishHARFORD

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX 66 SE 51
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX66SE/69
  • Old SAM County Ref: 372
  • Old SAM Ref: 10559
  • Pastscape: 441922
  • SHINE Candidate (Yes)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

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

Full description

Ordnance Survey, 1880-1899, First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map (Cartographic). SDV336179.

'Tumulus' shown on 19th century map.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1950, SX66SE51, SX66SE51, sketch, section, plan, photo. (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV178223.

Cairn on Piles Hill. An unusual monument, the equivalent of a bell barrow in stone. Cairn (diameter 17.8m, height 1.37m), berm (width 3.05m), stone circle (diameter 2.1m, height 0.46m). (12/04/1950) Cairn with bell disc features. Slight hollow in the centre of the tump (mound), otherwise in good condition. No distinct outer bank could be found, but the berm and central tump were quite evident.

Grinsell, L. V., 1953, The Ancient Burial-Mounds of England, 113 or 133 (Monograph). SDV223394.

A cairn of rare type, consisting of a central mound, surrounded by a fairly level platform which is enclosed in an outer bank.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1977, SX66SE51, SX66SE51 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV178224.

(05/08/1977) A bell-cairn of Wessex type situated at 387m. O.D. in a prominent position on Piles Hill. It is 29m in overall diameter and comprises a platform 0.3m high with the perimeter raised to a height of 0.5m by the formation of a bank of stones incorporating a possible double row of orthostats although only the tops of these protrude. Centrally placed within the platform is a mound 17.0m in diameter and 0.7m high; it has suffered minor depredations with evidence of an excavation trench on the north side. The cairn could be described as a rimmed platform with central mound and is not common though examples occur in Cornwall on St. Breock Downs and Bodmin Moor. Surveyed at 1:10 000 on P.F.D.

Hankin, C. F., 1977-1979, Harford Parish Checklist (Worksheet). SDV149931.

(08/06/1976) This mound has the characterisation of a 'bell-type' cairn the only one of its kind on this part of Dartmoor. The centre has three areas in which the overgrowth on the stones has been cleared. Diameter (outside) approximately 27m, platform or berm 2m - 3m wide, diameter (top of mound) 18m, height of berm approximately 0.5m, height overall approximately 1.5m. Altitude approximately 387m.

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

(23/06/1973) Cairn comprising central element, 18m in diameter, placed on a platform, leaving a berm c.3m wide. Around circumference of berm are suggestions of a low bank. Probably a variant of the bell barrow of Wessex type. Diameter 31.5m, height 1.5m.

National Monuments Record, 1980, NMR SF1743, 76-77 (Aerial Photograph). SDV161746.

Robinson, R., 1984, List of Field Monument Warden Visits 1984 (Un-published). SDV343082.

(12/06/1984) Field Monument Warden site visit.

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

Substantial cairn visible on 1980 aerial photograph.

Turner, J. R., 1990, Ring Cairns, Stone Circles and Related Monuments on Dartmoor, 32, 69, A53 (Article in Serial). SDV229817.

Stone ring around isolated cairn. Measures 23m in diameter with bank 1.5m wide and 0.4m high. Mound measures 16.5m diameter and 1m high.

Butler, J., 1993, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Four - The South-East, 64, Map 54 (Monograph). SDV337765.

Cairn at SX 65326082 on the summit of Piles Hill with a central mound of 18 metres across built onto a circular platform 20 metres wider.

Various, 2018-2020, PALs Condition Recording forms, UG35 (Worksheet). SDV362781.

Visited in 2017 prior to this project starting; not revisited. Condition assessed as very good.

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

'Cairn shown on modern mapping.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV149931Worksheet: Hankin, C. F.. 1977-1979. Harford Parish Checklist. Parish Checklist. Digital.
SDV161746Aerial Photograph: National Monuments Record. 1980. NMR SF1743. National Monuments Record Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 76-77.
SDV178223Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1950. SX66SE51. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index. SX66SE51, sketch, section, plan, photo..
SDV178224Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1977. SX66SE51. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Unknown. SX66SE51.
SDV223394Monograph: Grinsell, L. V.. 1953. The Ancient Burial-Mounds of England. The Ancient Burial-Mounds of England. Unknown. 113 or 133.
SDV229817Article in Serial: Turner, J. R.. 1990. Ring Cairns, Stone Circles and Related Monuments on Dartmoor. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 48. Paperback Volume. 32, 69, A53.
SDV273224Article in Serial: Grinsell, L. V.. 1978. Dartmoor Barrows. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 36. A5 Paperback.
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.
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
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. 64, Map 54.
SDV343082Un-published: Robinson, R.. 1984. List of Field Monument Warden Visits 1984. Lists of Field Monument Warden Visits. Printout.
SDV362781Worksheet: Various. 2018-2020. PALs Condition Recording forms. PALs Condition Assessment Project Forms. Digital. UG35.
SDV364015Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2021. MasterMap 2021. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV2988Related to: Butterdon Hill Stone Row, Harford (Monument)
MDV25676Related to: Cairn on Piles Hill south of Piles Hill stone row, Harford (Monument)
MDV25676Related to: Cairn on Piles Hill south of Piles Hill stone row, Harford (Monument)
MDV25676Related to: Cairn on Piles Hill south of Piles Hill stone row, Harford (Monument)
MDV25676Related to: Cairn on Piles Hill south of Piles Hill stone row, Harford (Monument)
MDV5708Related to: Cairn on Piles Hill south of Piles Hill stone row, Harford (Monument)
MDV13485Related to: Mound or cairn south of Piles Hill stone row on the summit of Piles Hill, Harford (Monument)
MDV5662Related to: Stone alignment on Piles Hill, Ugborough (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded


Date Last Edited:Feb 21 2021 11:57AM