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HER Number:MDV6254
Name:Blackbrook, South Cist, Dartmoor Forest


Southernmost cist in a group of three north of the Blackbrook River. Referred to by the Ordnance Survey (1950 onwards) as cist 'C.' This cist with its displaced capstone lies on the edge of the river bank. Vestiges of a small surrounding cairn are now hidden under the turf.


Grid Reference:SX 605 738
Map Sheet:SX67SW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishDartmoor Forest
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishLYDFORD

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Structural remains of a group of at least four prehistoric cists in an area of streamworking adjacent to the Blackbrook River

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX67SW18
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 443283
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX67SW/21/2
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SX67SW18
  • SHINE Candidate (Yes)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • CIST (Early Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 4000 BC to 701 BC)

Full description

Burnard, R., 1890, Notes on Dartmoor Kistvaens, 203 (Article in Serial). SDV265355.

Prowse, A. B., 1901, The Antiquities of Ockery and Roundhill, Dartmoor, 496-7 (Article in Serial). SDV233834.

Worth, R. H., 1912, 31st Report of the Barrow Committee, 84, plate 2 (Article in Serial). SDV233835.

(Estimated 1911) Blackbrook south. Fine cist, with substantial side stones. Southern end stone has fallen out, and cover-stone partially overhangs the cist.

Worth, R. H., 1925, 44th Report of the Barrow Committee, Plate 1, figure 1 (Article in Serial). SDV237295.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1950/1980, SX67SW18, Cist C (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV233931.

On the left bank of the Blackabrook, and lying south of Round Hill, just 18 feet from the river bank…, is a fine example, 4 feet long, 2 feet wide and 3 feet, 6 inches deep. The south end stone has been displaced for convenience in rifling; the other slabs are in position, the coverstone (5 feet by 4 feet) has been removed and is nesting on the western side of the cist. Ordnance Survey notes (04/09/1950) state; “This appears to be ‘A’.”
Twelve feet north is another kistvaen with two side stones in position but end stones broken and imperfect. This cist is almost buried. No trace of coverstone, circle or barrow. Ordnance Survey notes (04/09/1950) state; “? ‘B’.”
About 6 yards east of the last described is a very imperfect remnant of another kistvaen and about 12 feet in the same direction is a more perfect specimen with the vertical slabs standing, 3 feet long, 2.5 feet wide and 2 feet deep, lower stone has disappeared. [Citing Burnard, 1890].
Group of four kistvaens. (Description supplied but position of each not clear). [Citing Prowse, 1901]
(Visited 24/02/1950) Three cists each surrounded by numerous large stones. Capstone of C (southern) displaced: shape irregular, diameter 4 feet 6 inches, thickness 8 inches, depth of C 3 feet or more.
No signs of cist at 'B' (westernmost) where there ought to be one. No erosion in progress. I doubt if there were any more cists. Almost a circle of ruined cists; the river cuts off the south side. Nothing else like it in Dartmoor except Willings Wall Circle in the Plym Valley (Small sketch plan shows location of three cists: B is westernmost, C is southern and A is easternmost).
(Visited 04/09/1950) (Visited 4/9/1950) Kist C. Northern end stone in position and two side stones. Remains of earthen mound to height of 0.2 metres. Southern end stone has fallen to the south, coverstone lies to north-west corner. The depth of this kist from the top of the stones is 0.8 metres. Length 1.1 metres and width at northern end 0.5 metres. Traces of the cairn remain but is simply a collection of turf-covered stones which forms part of, and slopes away with the bank of the river. Condition good. (Sketch plan (not to scale) included).
(18/01/1980) Close to the north bank of Blackbrook River are three cists aligned approximately north/south. The first (Blackbrook S), at SX 60527384, measures 1.35 metres by 0.65 metres and 0.8 metres deep with a displaced coverstone. It is within the remains of a small kerbed cairn 5.2 metres in diameter. Surveyed at 1:10 000 and at 1:2500 for AO Records.

Grinsell, L. V., 1978, Dartmoor Barrows, 152, Lydford 80 (Article in Serial). SDV273224.

(Visited 25/7/1976). Traces of barrow with retaining circle enclosing cist placed south-south-east by north-north-west, capstone to west. Diameter 4.5 metres and height 0.3 metres.

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

(11/02/1988) SX 60527384 (Blackbrook south). This cist with its displaced capstone lies on the edge of the river bank. Vestiges of the small surrounding cairn are now hidden under the turf. The chamber of the cist measures 1.25 metres by 0.55 metres and about 0.5 metres deep; the capstone is 1.5 metres long, 1.1 metres wide and 0.15 metres thick. The south stone has fallen outwards.
The fourth cist noted by Prowse was not identified.

Butler, J., 1993, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Four - The South-East, 230-1, 249-50, Map 65.4 (Monograph). SDV337765.

Round Hill cist '1' at SX60517384. One of three cisted cairns sited along the riverbank; an unusual location, and positioned so close together that the original cairns much have almost touched one another. Little now remains of the covering mounds. The stones composing the southern cist are unusually large and all five are present, surrounded by a few stones of an outer ring. One of the end stones has fallen downhill and the capstone rests against the opposite corner.

Parks, D., 2017, Clarification of Blackbrook cist details (Un-published). SDV360093.

Blackbrook, South Cist (SX 60524 73860). Site visited 04/06/2016 and three cists photographed and located using Garmin GPS system. Photographs can be seen on Prehistoric Dartmoor Walks website: http://www.dartmoorwalks.org.uk/resource/search.php?OS=605738&Distance=0.25

Ordnance Survey, 2017, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV359962.

MasterMap shows a group of four cists at this location, this cairn is shown at SX60527385. Has not been used to locate as the site has been more accurately mapped by GPS; see Parks, 2017.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV233834Article in Serial: Prowse, A. B.. 1901. The Antiquities of Ockery and Roundhill, Dartmoor. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 33. Unknown. 496-7.
SDV233835Article in Serial: Worth, R. H.. 1912. 31st Report of the Barrow Committee. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 44. Unknown. 84, plate 2.
SDV233931Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1950/1980. SX67SW18. Oakford Archaeology. Card Index. Cist C.
SDV237295Article in Serial: Worth, R. H.. 1925. 44th Report of the Barrow Committee. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 57. Unknown. Plate 1, figure 1.
SDV265355Article in Serial: Burnard, R.. 1890. Notes on Dartmoor Kistvaens. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 22. A5 Hardback. 203.
SDV273224Article in Serial: Grinsell, L. V.. 1978. Dartmoor Barrows. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 36. A5 Paperback. 152, Lydford 80.
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. 230-1, 249-50, Map 65.4.
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. M. J. Fletcher.
SDV359962Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2017. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #129232 ]
SDV360093Un-published: Parks, D.. 2017. Clarification of Blackbrook cist details. Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV6253Related to: Blackabrook, West Cist, Dartmoor Forest (Monument)
MDV6250Related to: Cairn circle 280 metres south of Roundhill Farm (Monument)
MDV6252Related to: Eastern Cist on north side of Blackbrook River, Dartmoor Forest (Monument)
MDV6247Related to: Possible feature by the Blackbrook River, Dartmoor Forest (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV8627 - Roundhill Farm Duchy Farms Survey
  • EDV8409 - Dartmoor Royal Forest Project

Date Last Edited:Jun 17 2022 10:28AM