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HER Number:MDV8290
Name:Finds from Cairn on Mardon Down, Moretonhampstead


Ash, charcoal and pottery was found in one of the cairns on Mardon Down when it was excavated in the late 18th century. Unfortunately it is not known which cairn.


Grid Reference:SX 76 87
Map Sheet:SX78NE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishMoretonhampstead
Ecclesiastical ParishMORETONHAMPSTEAD

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX78NE3
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 445357
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX78NE/9

Monument Type(s) and Dates

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

Full description

Polwhele, R., 1793-1806, The History of Devonshire, 156 (Monograph). SDV21030.

1797. "On opening one of the sepulchral monuments (context suggests a cairn) a few years since, upon Maredown in the parish of Moreton (possibly Mardon Down - SX 7687), were found ashes, burnt wood, and pieces of earthen vessels, the fragments of urns".

Lysons, D. + Lysons, S., 1822, Magna Britannica, 308 (Monograph). SDV323771.

Fragments of urns were found in one [barrow] that was opened in the parish of Moreton.

Worth, R. N., 1879, 1st Report of the Barrow Committee, 158 (Article in Serial). SDV310390.

Worth refers to the accounts of the finds made in a barrow by Polwhele and Lysons.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1953, SX78NE3 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV306573.

(16/04/1953) No information obtained during field investigation about the urns or the barrow in which they were found. The probability, however, is that the urns were Bronze Age in date.

Grinsell, L. V., 1978, Dartmoor Barrows, 158 (Article in Serial). SDV273224.

Moretonhampstead 5A. Not located by Grinsell. A cairn at Maredown opened in the late 18th century yielded "ashes, burnt wood and pieces of earthen vessels, the fragments of urns" presumably Bronze Age.

Watts, S., 28/01/2014, Finds from Cairn on Mardon Down (Personal Comment). SDV356118.

Unfortunately it is not known which cairn Polwhele is referring to, hence why this is a separate findspot but linked to all the cairns. Several of the cairns have hollows in the top or in the side which could be the result of antiquarian excavation.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV21030Monograph: Polwhele, R.. 1793-1806. The History of Devonshire. The History of Devonshire. Unknown. 156.
SDV273224Article in Serial: Grinsell, L. V.. 1978. Dartmoor Barrows. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 36. A5 Paperback. 158.
SDV306573Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1953. SX78NE3. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV310390Article in Serial: Worth, R. N.. 1879. 1st Report of the Barrow Committee. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 11. A5 Hardback. 158.
SDV323771Monograph: Lysons, D. + Lysons, S.. 1822. Magna Britannica. Magna Britannica: A Concise Topographical Account of The Several Counties o. 6: Devonshire. Unknown. 308.
SDV356118Personal Comment: Watts, S.. 28/01/2014. Finds from Cairn on Mardon Down.

Associated Monuments

MDV19004Related to: Blackpool, Mardon Down (Monument)
MDV8310Related to: Cairn 15 metre south of Giant's Grave, Mardon Down (Monument)
MDV105915Related to: Cairn 62 metres south of Giant's Grave, Mardon Down, Moretonhampstead (Monument)
MDV105916Related to: Cairn Cemetery on Mardon Down (Monument)
MDV15158Related to: Cairn south of stone circle on Mardon Down, Moretonhampstead (Monument)
MDV15159Related to: Circular feature north-west of stone circle on Mardon Down (Monument)
MDV8309Related to: Giant's Grave cairn, Mardon Down (Monument)
MDV12771Related to: Probable ring cairn by path on Mardon Down (Monument)
MDV19003Related to: Ring Cairn to north-west of Stone Circle on Mardon Down (Monument)

Associated Finds

  • FDV5937 - URN (Early Neolithic to Late Iron Age - 4000 BC to 42 AD?)

Associated Events

  • EDV7270 - Survey of cairn cemetery, stone circle and other earthworks on Mardon Down
  • EDV8598 - Cairn excavated on Mardon Down

Date Last Edited:Jun 28 2022 3:14PM