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HER Number:MDV6302
Name:Childe's Tomb Cross, near Fox Tor


Childe's Tomb Cross, on the moor near Fox Tor, about 4.8 kilometers south-east of Princetown, 2.5 kilometres east of Siward's Cross.


Grid Reference:SX 625 702
Map Sheet:SX67SW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishDartmoor Forest
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishLYDFORD

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX67SW/55

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • CROSS (Early Medieval to XIX - 1066 AD to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

Carrington, N. T., 1826, Dartmoor, a descriptive poem, vignette (Unknown). SDV268135.

Crossing, W., 1887, Ancient Crosses of Dartmoor, 60-1 (Monograph). SDV261792.

Crossing, W., 1902, The Ancient Stone Crosses of Dartmoor, 88-95 (Monograph). SDV178385.

Breton, H. H., 1912, Beautiful Dartmoor III. Southern Quarter, 19-20 (Monograph). SDV250997.

Crossing, W., 1912 (1965), Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor, 108-9 (Monograph). SDV320981.

Masson Phillips, E. N., 1937, The Ancient Stone Crosses of Devon: Part I, 309-10 (Article in Serial). SDV240502.

Childe's Tomb cross, on the moor near Fox Tor, about 4.8 kilometres south-east of Princetown, 2.5 kilometres east of Siward's Cross. Type A. At the present time Childe's Tomb (restored) consists of a kistvaen surrounded by the remains of a retaining circle and surmounted by a rough pedestal bearing a small modern cross of rectangular section erected in a square socket-stone with a chamfered top edge. Originally the kist was covered by a pedestal of three square steps (of which the present stones are the remains) on which stood the ancient socket-stone bearing a cross of rectangular section. This broken socket-stone lies on the moor close by. Square at the base and becomes octagonal above, by the corners being chamfered off. The top edge of the octagonal upper surface is also chamfered. The socket hole is rectangular. One side of the socket-stone is broken away.

Finberg, H. P. R., 1946, Childe's tomb, 265-80 (Article in Serial). SDV259009.

Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/CPE/UK/1890, 4389 (Aerial Photograph). SDV169268.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1950, SX67SE31 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV261849.

Cist is visible. The actual kistvaen itself is not accessible, the pedestal of the above described stone cross completely covering the same (15/6/1950).

Hoskins, W.G. + Finberg, H.P.R., 1952, Devonshire Studies, 40-58 (Monograph). SDV351522.

Brown, T., 1954, The Dartmoor Legend of Mr Child (Monograph). SDV268143.

Fox, A., 1969, Swincombe Survey, 48, 9 (Report - Survey). SDV250998.

Grinsell, L. V., 1978, Dartmoor Barrows, 153 (Article in Serial). SDV273224.

Cairn, diameter 9.0 metres, height 0.3 metres with modern retaining circle 5.4 metres in diameter and 0.3 metres high; central cist placed south-east by north-west. Crossing says "the stones appear to have been artificially shaped, the kistvaen not being of such rude construction as the examples generally found. On this account it would appear to be of less antiquity, though in plan precisely similar". The site is crowned by a modern cross on a large plinth. Monument restored by the Dartmoor Preservation Association in around 1890 (20/9/1975).

Starkey, F. H., 1983, Dartmoor Crosses and Some Ancient Tracks, 36-7 (Monograph). SDV345128.

Hemery, E., 1983, High Dartmoor, 344, 359-61 (Monograph). SDV249702.

Masson Phillips, E. N., 1984, Supplementary Notes on the Ancient Stone Crosses of Devon (Seventh Paper), 144-145 (Article in Serial). SDV345276.

If Childe was the 11th century Ordulf II of Tavistock (Citing Finberg) then the cross was a posthumous memorial and the "tomb" was in fact a cenotaph.

Ordnance Survey, 2016, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV359352.

'Childe's Tomb (remains of) Cross on Cairn and Cist' depicted on the modern mapping.

National Monument Record, 2016, Pastscape, Accessed 05/08/2016 (Website). SDV359354.

The remains of a cairn containing a cist, known as Childe's Tomb, situated on a north-facing slope west of the River Swincombe at 365.0 metres ordnance datum. A restored cross, set in a socket stone, has been mounted on a pedestal, over the cist. See photograph.
The broken socket stone referred to by Masson Phillips could not be seen. Surveyed at 1:10 000 on PFD. (Citing Ordnance Survey, 12/08/1977)
Crossing and others have suggested that the head of the original cross might be that which lay for a time at the foot of the cross in Fox Tor newtake (MDV6301). However, photographs show it to have been rectangular in section whereas Childe's Tomb cross would have been octagonal.
SX 62577029. A much disturbed cairn, 9 metres in diameter and 0.3 metres high with a modern 'kerb' of blocks and slabs, 5.8 metres in diameter and 0.5 metres high, set upon the mound. At the centre is a well built cist 1.4 metres long, 0.5 metres wide and 0.6 metres deep. Over this is a two tier pedestal of eight well trimmed blocks, of three different lengths; a further half buried block lies south of the monument. Upon this is a replacement socket stone and cross, cut at Holne in 1885 (citing Hemery, 1983), with a total height of 1.4 metres. Near a large block, 5 metres east of the cairn, is the broken socket stone of the original cross. (Citing Probert, S.A.J., Royal Commission on the Historic Monuments in England, 08/06/1988)

Sources / Further Reading

SDV169268Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/CPE/UK/1890. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 4389.
SDV178385Monograph: Crossing, W.. 1902. The Ancient Stone Crosses of Dartmoor. The Ancient Stone Crosses of Dartmoor. Unknown. 88-95.
SDV240502Article in Serial: Masson Phillips, E. N.. 1937. The Ancient Stone Crosses of Devon: Part I. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 69. A5 Hardback. 309-10.
SDV249702Monograph: Hemery, E.. 1983. High Dartmoor. High Dartmoor. Hardback Volume. 344, 359-61.
SDV250997Monograph: Breton, H. H.. 1912. Beautiful Dartmoor III. Southern Quarter. Beautiful Dartmoor III. Southern Quarter. Unknown. 19-20.
SDV250998Report - Survey: Fox, A.. 1969. Swincombe Survey. Unknown. 48, 9.
SDV259009Article in Serial: Finberg, H. P. R.. 1946. Childe's tomb. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 78. 265-80.
SDV261792Monograph: Crossing, W.. 1887. Ancient Crosses of Dartmoor. Ancient Crosses of Dartmoor. Unknown. 60-1.
SDV261849Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1950. SX67SE31. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV268135Unknown: Carrington, N. T.. 1826. Dartmoor, a descriptive poem, vignette. Unknown.
SDV268143Monograph: Brown, T.. 1954. The Dartmoor Legend of Mr Child. The Dartmoor Legend of Mr Child. Unknown.
SDV273224Article in Serial: Grinsell, L. V.. 1978. Dartmoor Barrows. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 36. A5 Paperback. 153.
SDV320981Monograph: Crossing, W.. 1912 (1965). Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor. Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor. Hardback Volume. 108-9.
SDV345128Monograph: Starkey, F. H.. 1983. Dartmoor Crosses and Some Ancient Tracks. Dartmoor Crosses and Some Ancient Tracks. Paperback Volume. 36-7.
SDV345276Article in Serial: Masson Phillips, E. N.. 1984. Supplementary Notes on the Ancient Stone Crosses of Devon (Seventh Paper). Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 116. Paperback Volume. 144-145.
SDV351522Monograph: Hoskins, W.G. + Finberg, H.P.R.. 1952. Devonshire Studies. Devonshire Studies. 40-58.
SDV359352Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2016. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #97194 ]
SDV359354Website: National Monument Record. 2016. Pastscape. http://www.pastscape.org.uk. Website. Accessed 05/08/2016.

Associated Monuments

MDV48907Related to: Childe's tomb cairn and cist, Dartmoor Forest (Monument)
MDV6301Related to: Stone cross east-north-east of Childe's Tomb (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Aug 5 2016 4:10PM