Tor cairn

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Cox Tor cairn - a platform of loose stones Cox Tor cairn.jpg
Cox Tor cairn - a platform of loose stones
Yes Tor cairn Cairn on Yes Tor - - 1575621.jpg
Yes Tor cairn
Roos Tor cairn Cairn north of Roos Tor - - 1468487.jpg
Roos Tor cairn

A tor cairn is a prehistoric cult site occurring in the British Isles, especially in Cornwall and Devon but also in Wales. It consists of a circular enclosure of stones or a platform of loose rocks surrounding a natural tor, sometimes encircled by a ditch. The diameter of the roughly 35 tor cairns ranges from 12 to over 30 metres and their height varies from 0.5 to 4.0 metres. There is usually an entrance to the enclosed area and pits in the ground between the rock outcrop (tor) itself and the enclosure. [1]


Finds of flint tools, pottery, gravel, quartz and bronze weapons and jewellery have enabled the sites to be dated to the early 2nd millennium B.C., i.e. the early Bronze Age. [1]

Examples are the tor cairns of: Alex Tor, Catshole Tor, Corndon Tor, Cox Tor, [2] Hameldown Tor, Limsboro Cairn, White Tor (Peter Tavy), Rough Tor, Tolborough Tor, Top Tor, Tregarrick Tor and Yes Tor.

See also

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  1. 1 2 Darvill, Timothy (2008). Oxford Concise Dictionary of Archaeology, 2nd ed., Oxford University Press, Oxford and New York, p. 464. ISBN   978-0-19-953404-3.
  2. Historic England. "Tor Cairn Forming Part of a Round Cairn Cemetery, and a Stone Hut Circle on the Summit of Cox Tor (1011500)". National Heritage List for England . Retrieved 15 June 2017.