HeritageGateway - Home
Site Map
Text size: A A A
You are here: Home > > > > Devon & Dartmoor HER Result
Devon & Dartmoor HERPrintable version | About Devon & Dartmoor HER | Visit Devon & Dartmoor HER online...

See important guidance on the use of this record.

If you have any comments or new information about this record, please email us.


HER Number:MDV5838
Name:Cairn and cist 875 metres north west of Arch Tor

Summary

Cairn with inner retaining circle and possibly outer kerb, which has been incorporated in a boundary bank.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 627 787
Map Sheet:SX67NW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishDartmoor Forest
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishLYDFORD

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX67NW8
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 442531
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX67NW/6
  • Old SAM County Ref: 368
  • Old SAM Ref: 34486

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • CAIRN (Constructed, Bronze Age - 2200 BC (Between) to 701 BC (Between))
  • CIST (Constructed, Bronze Age - 2200 BC (Between) to 701 BC (Between))

Full description

Untitled Source (Unknown). SDV265343.

Cairn, near Archerton House. The body of the cairn has 3 or 4 rows of upright slabs visible in it. The condition is fair, a section trench has been cut across it. Cist, the kistvaen stands on a mound which still rises in part above the level of the coverstone. The coverstone has turned aside and now rests across one corner of the kist. The west sidestone has been displaced leaving the kist completely open on that side. At either end of the kist is a large slab, approximately 152mm from the end stone and parallel to it. There is an inner retaining circle to the mound. Outside this circle is a structure, apparently a wall, 813mm wide, with outer stones set in a kerb.

Burnard, R., 1890, Notes on Dartmoor Kistvaens, 207 (Article in Serial). SDV265355.

The remains of a barrow 30ft in diameter and 5 ft high, containing a cist and what appears to be part of another. Incorporated in the mound is a double circle of erect stones about 15 ft in diameter, one being 3 1/2 ft high. The more perfect cist, aligned north west - south east, is 3 feet long, 2 feet wide and 2 1/2 feet deep, its western side thrown down and its capstone pushed aside when it was robbed. An old stone hedge seems to have been built with stones from the barrow, especially on the south and west sides.

Prowse, A. B., 1891, The Ancient Metropolis of Dartmoor, 314 (Article in Serial). SDV245176.

Baring Gould, S., 1901, 7th Report of the Dartmoor Exploration Committee, 136 (Article in Serial). SDV249499.

Worth, R. H., 1902, 21st Report of the Barrow Committee, 115 (Article in Serial). SDV20971.

Breton, H. H., 1926, The Heart of Dartmoor, Morwenstow, 35 (Monograph). SDV265360.

Worth, R. H., 1938, 57th Report of the Barrow Committee, 60, Plate VIII. (Article in Serial). SDV320309.

At each end of the cist, parallel with it and six inches distant, are large slabs of stone. The inner circle of stones appears to be the retaining circle of the mound. The outer two appear to have formed a wall, 32 inches wide, with the outer stones set as a kerb.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1950, SX67NW8 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV265344.

(29/11/1950) Kistvaen, remains of. Stone circle around kist, there is an irregular stone circle around this kist. Has been mistaken for a triple circle. Triple circle round this kistvaen, 7.32m, 4.572m, and 3.048m in diameter. Inner circle of big stones, outer circle of small stones, another outer circle of still smaller stones. Mound level with capstone on the north side, half of the capstone gone.
The remains of a barrow containing a fine kistvaen and what appears to be a portion of another. The more perfect kist is 914mm long, 610mm wide and 762mm deep. The coverstone has been removed from its original position and the barrow appears to have been opened on the south and west sides. The circle 6.1m in diameter is in great perfection and is uncommon for it is built of two rows of vertical stones close set, one within the other. I could find no trace of the second cist. The cist is in fairly good condition. Dimension, internally 0.8m by 0.6m and 0.9m in depth. Only half of the capstone remains and is resting on the north side. The west sidestone of the cist has fallen outwards.
There is an old reave which runs right across the north side of the cist and this may account for the ruinous state of the south and west sides of the cairn, material from this part of the cairn may have been used in the making of the reave at this point. The inner circle of stones are in good condition, the middle circle of smaller stones are in a poorer condition and does not exist on the north side, the outermost circle is very poor and much despoiled and only 7 stones are visible from east to west. It seems likely that the building of the reave either covered or destroyed the second and third circles on the north side. Other details: Photograph.
The cist lies within three concentric circles of stones at 10, 15 and 24 feet diameters, the inner ring being of large stones, the middle ring of smaller stones and the outer ring of even smaller stones. The cist measures internally 0.8m by 0.6m and 0.9m deep. Half of its capstone lies across its north end. No other cist could be seen. It is surrounded by three circles of stones. The inner circle, 3.5m diameter, is in good condition; the middle one, 5.5m diameter is generally poor with a gap on its north side, the outer circle, 8.0m diameter is in poor condition only seven stones being visible in the southern half of its circuit.

Royal Air Force, 1951, RAF/540/483, 4048 (Aerial Photograph). SDV224087.

Grinsell, L. V., 1978, Dartmoor Barrows, 148 (Article in Serial). SDV273224.

Cairn with inner retaining circle and possibly outer kerb. Breton claims a triple retaining circle. 'Faint indications of bone ashes' in pit covered by stone slab. Central cist placed SE/NW, possible 2nd cist claimed by Burnard. Cairn has been cut through by an old wall.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1979, SX67NW8 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV265349.

(02/11/1979) On a S facing slope at 433.0 OD is a cairn which has been incorporated in a boundary bank. The cairn measures 8.2m E-W and 6.0m N-S. The southern half has been partly removed exposing a cist orientated NW/SE which measures 0.9m long by 0.65m wide and is 0.95m deep. The coverstone and the SW side stone have been displaced. There is no evidence of a second cist (TDA 1890, 1891). There appears to be three concentric and roughly equidistant rings of upright slabs around the cist (see plan), and these diminish in height from the centre, being approximately 0.9m, 0.5m and 0.2m high.
Between the rings there is an infill of stone and earth.
See ground photograph. Surveyed at 1:10 000 on MSD at 1:2500 and 1:100.

Robinson, R., 1983, List of Field Monument Warden Visits 1983 (Un-published). SDV345762.

Greeves, T. A. P., 1983, Middle Merripit Survey Drawing (Plan - measured). SDV321106.

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

Cairn visible, but not cist, on RAF 1951 AP.

Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England, 1987-1993, Duchy Farms Project Survey Visit (Report - Survey). SDV350839.

At SX62767880. Remains of a cairn with central cist. An early 19C newtake boundary bank about 3m wide and 1m high, overlies the N half of the cairn and has here destroyed the outer periphery. Some of the content of the bank has obviously come from the cairn. The cairn, about 0.5m high appears to have been 5.8m to 6m in diameter with an outer kerb of large stones laid lengthways although only about 7 remain around the S perimeter. Set concentrically about 1m inside this kerb is a second more complete kerb of predominantly vertical stones, up to 0.9m high, with a diameter of 3.6m. The tops of some stones of this kerb are visible protruding from the overlying bank around the NE. Because of the condition of the cairn it is difficult to ascertain if infill between the kerbs in the S is original or merely debris from the robbing.
Within the centre of the cairn is a cist of 3 large slabs about 0.2m thick. Internally it is 0.8m NW-SE by 0.6 and up to 0.9m deep, constructed with double slabs on the NW and SE ends. These have been incorrectly interpreted as the inner circle by (?OS). The NE slab is leaning slightly inwards. A large stone A, 1.4m long, 0.7m wide and 0.2m thick, SW of the cist, is probably the dislodged SW side slab. The coverstone B, is laid horizontally over the N side and incorporated into the boundary bank and partly covered with turf. Its true dimensions are unobtainable but it is at least 1.5m NW-SE by 0.5m wide and 0.15m thick. No trace was seen of a second cist.
There are several stones 0.6m to 2m outside the SE arc of the cairn. They are loose, irregularly set and untypical of kerbstones and while the overall diameter corresponds with the outer circle, they are undoubtedly debris from the cairn robbing.

Turner, J. R., 1990, Ring Cairns, Stone Circles and Related Monuments on Dartmoor, 42, 46, 73 (Article in Serial). SDV229817.

A multiple ring setting with 5.5m diameter outer ring, 3.6m inner ring around central cist. Reave crosses E-W. Along with similar cairn on Sittaford Tor (PRN 54672?) this site flanks E. Dart River.

Ancient Monuments, 2004, Schedule Notes (Schedule Document). SDV320275.

Monument includes a cairn which survives as three concentric rings of edge set slabs surrounding a central cist. The northern part of the cairn is overlain by an historic boundary bank 1.3m wide x up to 0.95m high with a ditch on the northern side.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV20971Article in Serial: Worth, R. H.. 1902. 21st Report of the Barrow Committee. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 34. A5 Paperback + Digital. 115.
SDV224087Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1951. RAF/540/483. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 4048.
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. 42, 46, 73.
SDV245176Article in Serial: Prowse, A. B.. 1891. The Ancient Metropolis of Dartmoor. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 23. 314.
SDV249499Article in Serial: Baring Gould, S.. 1901. 7th Report of the Dartmoor Exploration Committee. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 33. Digital. 136.
SDV265343Unknown:
SDV265344Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1950. SX67NW8. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV265349Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1979. SX67NW8. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV265355Article in Serial: Burnard, R.. 1890. Notes on Dartmoor Kistvaens. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 22. A5 Hardback. 207.
SDV265360Monograph: Breton, H. H.. 1926. The Heart of Dartmoor, Morwenstow. The Heart of Dartmoor, Morwenstow. Unknown. 35.
SDV273224Article in Serial: Grinsell, L. V.. 1978. Dartmoor Barrows. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 36. A5 Paperback. 148.
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.
SDV320275Schedule Document: Ancient Monuments. 2004. Schedule Notes. The Schedule of Monuments. Unknown.
SDV320309Article in Serial: Worth, R. H.. 1938. 57th Report of the Barrow Committee. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 70. A5 Hardback. 60, Plate VIII..
SDV321106Plan - measured: Greeves, T. A. P.. 1983. Middle Merripit Survey Drawing. Middle Merripit Survey Drawing. Digital.
SDV345762Un-published: Robinson, R.. 1983. List of Field Monument Warden Visits 1983. Lists of Field Monument Warden Visits. Printout.
SDV350839Report - Survey: Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England. 1987-1993. Duchy Farms Project Survey Visit. Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England Archaeological Survey. Unknown.

Associated Monuments

MDV54672Related to: BARROW in the Parish of Dartmoor Forest (Monument)
MDV5836Related to: One of two cairns east of Higher White Tor (Monument)
MDV5837Related to: One of two cairns east of Higher White Tor (Monument)

Associated Finds

  • FDV7600 - HUMAN REMAINS (Bronze Age - 2200 BC to 701 BC?)

Associated Events

  • EDV8486 - Excavation of cairn, south-west of Archerton
  • EDV8645 - Powder Mills and Gawler Newtake, Duchy Farms Survey
  • EDV8409 - Dartmoor Royal Forest Project
  • EDV8423 - Duchy Farms Project

Date Last Edited:Feb 14 2022 11:20AM