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HER Number:MDV6673
Name:Cairn on summit of Birch Tor, North Bovey


Cairn was damaged 1925 when a retaining wall of inwards-leaning slabs was exposed. Diameter 17.0 metres, height 2.0 metres. Oval, with east-west orientation.


Grid Reference:SX 686 816
Map Sheet:SX68SE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishNorth Bovey
Ecclesiastical ParishNORTH BOVEY

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX68SE/90

Monument Type(s) and Dates

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

Full description

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV306151.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV306152.

Worth, r. H. /tda/69(1937)80,95/56th report on barrows.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV306153.

Grinsell, l. V. /pdas/36(1978)158/north bovey 1.

Untitled Source (Aerial Photograph). SDV306154.

Aph=nmr sf 1508/21.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV306155.

Des=dick, a. M. /(17/5/1992)/as above.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV306156.

Turner, j. R. /pdas/48(1990)83.

Turner, J. R., Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV37204.

Vis=13/10/1952 (os). The tumulus, diam 14.0m, 0.50m in height, is in good condition. But the retaining circle was not clearly defined on the ground. Vis=est -/-/1936 (worth) cairn on the summit of birch tor destroyed partly by a contractor. In 1925 he started to break up the stones of the retaining circle till stopped by worth. The retaining wall was well within the margin of the cairn. Large slab set to lean inwards at an angle of about 30 deg. Vis=24/7/1972 (grinsell, l. V. + beach, n. ). Cairn damaged 1925 when a retaining wall of inwards-leaning slabs was exposed. Diameter 17.0m, height 2.0m. Vis=visible and recorded (rchm app 1985). Vis=17/5/1992 (dick). Oval, with e-w orientation. C 9m by 5m by 1m high. Deep ditch on s side with circular depression 1m deep, 2m diam, to sw. The mound stands 1m above ground level on n side, 2.5m above base of ditch. No stone visible (dick). Vis=indication of stone ring/ring cairn beneath cairn (turner).

Ordnance Survey, 2015, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV357601.

English Heritage, 2015, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV357602.

The monument includes a round cairn and warren boundary stone situated near the summit of Birch Tor overlooking extensive parts of central Dartmoor. The cairn survives as an 18m diameter flat-topped mound standing up to 2.2m high. A substantial hollow on the southern side of the mound represents the site of partial stone robbing by a road contractor in 1925. This work revealed an internal stone kerb, two slabs of which are still visible in the undisturbed part of the cairn.
The warren boundary stone lies 10m north west of the cairn. It stands 0.8m high and is inscribed with the letters `WB' on its eastern face.
The stone forms part of a group of at least 16 stones which denote the edges of Headland Warren. Headland Warren covers about 246ha and includes at least 37 pillow mounds, five vermin traps, six rectilinear enclosures and the warren house itself. The warren was certainly in existence by 1754 and continued in use until around 1920.

Sources / Further Reading

  • Migrated Record:
  • Migrated Record:
  • Migrated Record:
  • Aerial Photograph:
  • Migrated Record:
  • Migrated Record:
  • Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2015. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital.
  • National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2015. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital.
  • Migrated Record: Turner, J. R..

Associated Monuments

MDV113586Related to: Boundary Stone marking the boundary of Headland Warren, North Bovey (Monument)
MDV118780Related to: Boundary Stone marking the boundary of Headland Warren, North Bovey (Monument)
MDV118869Related to: Medieval Field Boundaries to the south of Birch Tor at Headland Warren, North Bovey (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV7139 - Headland Warren Survey (Ref: A1/20/2001)

Date Last Edited:Apr 7 2017 12:22PM