MDE9000 - Prehistoric or later clearance cairns on Trentishoe Down (Monument)


A system of small clearance cairns on south side of Trentishoe Down, averaging 1.5 metres in diameter and 0.4 metres high. They appear to be prehistoric, though could be associated with later attempts at land improvement.

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Type and Period (2)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A scattered group of small cairns on the south and west side of Trentishoe Down, occupying an area of approximately 13 hectares, was noted on a site visit in 1985. [1] Centred at SS 6295 4764 on the southern slopes of Trentishoe Down is a system of small clearance cairns. The system lies on open moorland which has recently been burnt off. The ground surface has an apparently shallow depth of peat and is covered with small surface clitter. Some 37 cairns were recorded in the field. They average 1.5 metres in diameter and stand to 0.4 metres in height. They are composed of stones usually up to 0.3 metres in length (slightly larger than the stones littered over the present ground surface). The system is apparently prehistoric, although no settlement features could be found amongst the cairns or in immediate association with them. Assuming that it is prehistoric, then its proximity and relationship to the barrow group on Trentishoe Down (MDE1037) is of considerable interest. The nearest confirmed prehistoric settlement lies more than 300 metres to the north on the northern slopes of the Down (see MDE1040 and MDE8961), and also further northwest (MDE8574). The possibility that the clearance is associated with later attempts at land improvement cannot be ruled out (see MDE9001). Surveyed at 1:2500. [2-4] The site was visited in 1994, when its condition was noted to be stable. [5]

Sources/Archives (5)

  • <1> Report: McDonnell, R.. 1986. Archaeological survey on Exmoor 1985/86: Trentishoe Down; a summary report. Site 270, visited 20 November 1985.
  • <2> Unpublished document: Wilson-North, R.. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 8 July 1993.
  • <3> Collection: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. Exmoor Project.
  • <4> Survey: Trentishoe, SS 64 NW 4, 7, 15, 31, 32, 33, 37/ink survey . 1:2500. General: Permatrace. Pen and Ink.
  • <5> Report: National Trust. 1994. Archaeological Site Monitoring Report. Goodwin, visited 30 May 1994.



Grid reference Centred SS 6283 4759 (430m by 330m) (Surveyed)
Map sheet SS64NW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR (Devonshire): SS64NW/57
  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 28170
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 64 NW31
  • National Park
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 872776

Record last edited

Apr 24 2019 11:44AM


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