MDE1307 - Bronze Age ring cairn on Cheriton Ridge (Monument)


A Bronze Age ring cairn with inner kerbing lies near the centre of a saddle on Cheriton Ridge. It is compact and well preserved, 15.8 metres in diameter and 0.5 metres high, though the interior has been disturbed.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

(SS 7456 4477) Hut Circle (NR) [1] Cheriton Ridge. Shown on Ordnance Survey as a hut circle, but appearance and situation on ridge suggest a cairn [2] with a retaining circle 30 feet in diameter, of which eight stones still stand [3] (see plan). Cairn with peristalith. [2-4] A spread cairn 14.0 metres in diameter and up to 0.3 metres high with a 9.4 metre diameter retaining ring which now comprises only eight upright stones up to 0.9 metres high. Published survey 1:2500 revised. [5] SS 74563 44778. A cairn 15.8 metres diameter and of 0.5 metres maximum height. Prominently situated, about 349 metres above sea level near the centre of a saddle on Cheriton Ridge, this cairn has been mutilated by robbing resulting in a flat topped heathery mound. The northwest quadrant is strewn with stones, the southern half has some stone scatter whilst the northeast quadrant is overgrown with heather. About 2 metres within the outer edge of the cairn material at least 8 stones of an internal `peristalith', or inner retaining kerb, slightly eccentric to the main cairn body survive in situ, mainly around the southern half. These stones vary from the largest, in the northwest quadrant, 0.8 metres by 0.8 metres and 0.2 metres thick down to one in the southwest quadrant, 0.3 metres by 0.3 metres and 0.15 metres thick. They give a diameter of about 9.4 metres between stone centres. Although slightly irregular, the content and form of the band of material outside the `peristalith' suggests it is a part of the the original cairn construction and not just spilled debris due to robbing. It is this ring of material which probably led to the site being classified as a hut circle by the Ordnance Survey in 1888 [6]. The cairn is a Scheduled Monument, Devon No.714 [7], although it is incorrectly described as a hut circle under the Monument Title. Surveyed at 1:2500. [8] Generally as described by [8]. The form of this monument suggests that it could be categorised as a ring cairn. The compact and well preserved nature of the outer ring (especially on the north), combined with the inner kerb form the most striking part of the feature. The interior, although disturbed, does not have any height indicative of a cairn, neither is there any evidence for robbed material spread around the monument. Surveyed at 1:200 scale, July 1996. [9] The cairn described above is visible as a slight circular earthwork on aerial photographs, measuring approximately 9.5 metres in diameter. The individual stones are not visible. [11-12] McDonnell sees a disturbed earthwork. Possibly a hut circle. Good on the 1947 aerial photographs and very good on the 1977 aerial photographs.The photos show a clear ring bank as well as the orthostats, with central mound. [13-14] Field notes with plan, and two photos taken 12 May 1939 by Rainbird Clarke. [15] The Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment of 2009 gave the site a survival score of 4. [16] The site was surveyed in May 2015 as part of the 2015 Exmoor Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment. It was given a survival score of 4. [17] The feature isdepicted and labelled "Cairn" on the 2021 MasterMap data. [19] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [20]

Sources/Archives (20)

  • <1> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1962. 6 Inch Map: 1962. 1:10560.
  • <2> Article in serial: Grinsell, L.V.. 1970. The Barrows of North Devon. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 28. P. 112.
  • <3> Article in serial: Chanter, J.F. + Worth, R.H.. 1905. The Rude Stone Monuments of Exmoor and its Borders. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 37. I. P. 394, figure 1, plate 4.
  • <4> Monograph: Grinsell, L.V.. 1970. The Archaeology of Exmoor: Bideford Bay to Bridgewater. David and Charles Limited.
  • <5> Unpublished document: Fletcher, M.J.. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, F1, 17 April 1974.
  • <6> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. Devon 7(6).
  • <7> Index: English Heritage. 1987. County List of Scheduled Ancient Monuments. Devon 14, County No.714.
  • <8> Unpublished document: Sainsbury, I.S.S. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 13 September 1994.
  • <9> Technical drawing: Best, J. and Wilson-North, R.. 1996. Brendon, cairn at SS 74 SW 37/ink survey. 1:200. Permatrace. Pen and Ink.
  • <10> Unpublished document: Wilson-North, R.. Various. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 3 July 1996.
  • <11> Aerial photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946 -1948. Vertical Aerial Photography. CPE/UK/1980.4077 (April 1947).
  • <12> Archive: English Heritage. 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 74 SW. MD002182.
  • <13> Aerial photograph: Meridian Air Maps. 1977-1978. Infrared False Colour Aerial Photography. MAM/13/072 (May 1977).
  • <14> Unpublished document: McDonnell, R.. 1980. Gazetteer of Sites in the Exmoor National Park Identified through Aerial Photography. SS7444e.
  • <15> Unpublished document: Grinsell, L. V. & Clarke, R.. 1939. Notes, Survey and Photographs of Cheriton Ridge Barrow.
  • <16> Report: Bray, L.S.. 2010. Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment 2009, Exmoor National Park.
  • <17> Report: Gent, T. and Manning, P.. 2015. Exmoor National Park Scheduled Monument Condition Survey 2015. Archaedia.
  • <18> Report: Davies, W.. 2017. A Paleofluvial and Paleoecological Investigation of the Farley Water River Valley, Exmoor.
  • <19>XY Map: Ordnance Survey. 2021. MasterMap data. 1:2,500. [Mapped feature: #47781 ]
  • <20> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 35433, Extant 12 January 2022.

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR (Devonshire): SS74SW/17
  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 645
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20010
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO110
  • Local List Status (No)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 SW37
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 35433
  • Scheduled Monument (County Number): Devon 714



Grid reference Centred SS 7456 4477 (22m by 22m)
Map sheet SS74SW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (4)

Record last edited

Jan 12 2022 9:23AM


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