<< Our Photo Pages >> Hamel Down Beacon cairn - Cairn in England in Devon

Submitted by AngieLake on Sunday, 22 April 2007  Page Views: 4779

Neolithic and Bronze AgeSite Name: Hamel Down Beacon cairn Alternative Name: Hameldown Beacon cairn; Grinsell Widecombe 6
Country: England County: Devon Type: Cairn
Nearest Town: Ashburton  Nearest Village: Widecombe in the Moor
Map Ref: SX70837891
Latitude: 50.595582N  Longitude: 3.826373W
Condition:
5Perfect
4Almost Perfect
3Reasonable but with some damage
2Ruined but still recognisable as an ancient site
1Pretty much destroyed, possibly visible as crop marks
0No data.
-1Completely destroyed
3 Ambience:
5Superb
4Good
3Ordinary
2Not Good
1Awful
0No data.
4 Access:
5Can be driven to, probably with disabled access
4Short walk on a footpath
3Requiring a bit more of a walk
2A long walk
1In the middle of nowhere, a nightmare to find
0No data.
3 Accuracy:
5co-ordinates taken by GPS or official recorded co-ordinates
4co-ordinates scaled from a detailed map
3co-ordinates scaled from a bad map
2co-ordinates of the nearest village
1co-ordinates of the nearest town
0no data
5

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TheCaptain visited on 6th Dec 2022 - their rating: Cond: 3 Amb: 4 Access: 3 On to the southern top of Hameldown at 517m, at a corner of the field wall, is another prominent large cairn, again with a Duke Stone on its top. The field wall makes no attempt to avoid the cairn, running right over it, but not across the centre. From here the views to the south open up with almost the whole of the southern moor and southeast Devon to be seen.

lauraaurora visited on 10th May 2021 - their rating: Cond: 3 Amb: 4 Access: 3

AngieLake have visited here

Average ratings for this site from all visit loggers: Condition: 3 Ambience: 4 Access: 3

Hamel Down Beacon cairn
Hamel Down Beacon cairn submitted by TheCaptain : On the southern top of Hameldown at 517m, at a corner of the field wall, is a prominent large cairn. The field wall makes no attempt to avoid the cairn, running right over it, but not across the centre. The cairn has been cut away from the western side within the walled field. Here seen from the south. (Vote or comment on this photo)
Hameldown Beacon is now surmounted by one of those 19th century 'Duke' stones, which is engraved 'Hamilton Beacon'.

Butler tells us that this is the site of one of the chain of five beacons that once relayed signals across the interior of the county. (Situated between Buckland Beacon to the south and Meldon Hill northwards).

The field wall changes direction downhill on the top of the cairn and part of the structure has collapsed, leaving a gash across the southeast side.

While I was there, most walkers made a bee-line for it, to stand on top admiring the lovely views. Others were picnicking in its shelter as a very cold north wind was blowing on Easter Monday!

Update October 2019: This cairn is featured on the Prehistoric Dartmoor Walks (PDW) website - see their entry for the Hameldown Beacon Cairn, which tells us this is: "A grass covered cairn which was alleged to have been used as a beacon in (the) medieval period".

The cairn is also recorded as Pastscape Monument No. 445096 and as MDV7435 (Hameldown Beacon Cairn) on the Devon and Dartmoor HER. The cairn is also scheduled as Historic England List Entry No. 1003284 (Hameldown Beacon barrow).
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Hamel Down Beacon cairn
Hamel Down Beacon cairn submitted by TheCaptain : On top of the cairn is another of the "Duke Stones". Looking north, Broad Barrow can be seen on the summit in the distance. (3 comments - Vote or comment on this photo)

Hamel Down Beacon cairn
Hamel Down Beacon cairn submitted by TheCaptain : The views to the south and east open up with almost the whole of the southern moor and southeast Devon to be seen. Hay Tor on the left, Rippon Tor on the right. (1 comment - Vote or comment on this photo)

Hamel Down Beacon cairn
Hamel Down Beacon cairn submitted by AngieLake : Hameldown Beacon cairn's north side in late afternoon sunshine, the field wall's shadow darkening the foreground. On the far left horizon Haytor can be seen, faintly lit by the sun. (Vote or comment on this photo)

Hamel Down Beacon cairn
Hamel Down Beacon cairn submitted by TheCaptain : On the southern top of Hameldown at 517m, at a corner of the field wall, is a prominent large cairn. Here seen approaching from the southeast. (Vote or comment on this photo)

Hamel Down Beacon cairn
Hamel Down Beacon cairn submitted by TheCaptain : On the southern top of Hameldown at 517m, at a corner of the field wall, is a prominent large cairn. Here seen from the southeast.

Hamel Down Beacon cairn
Hamel Down Beacon cairn submitted by TheCaptain : On the southern top of Hameldown at 517m, at a corner of the field wall, is a prominent large cairn. Here seen from the northeast.

Hamel Down Beacon cairn
Hamel Down Beacon cairn submitted by TheCaptain : On the southern top of Hameldown at 517m, at a corner of the field wall, is a prominent large cairn. The field wall makes no attempt to avoid the cairn, running right over it, but not across the centre. Here seen approaching from the north.

Hamel Down Beacon cairn
Hamel Down Beacon cairn submitted by AngieLake : The 'Duke' stone erected in the 19th century reads 'Hamilton Beacon'. See site page for futher info. Looking west here in overcast conditions, early afternoon.

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Nearby sites listing. In the following links * = Image available
 164m NW 321° Blackaton Down south (Hamel Down)* Cairn (SX70737904)
 234m NW 319° Blackaton Down north (Hamel Down)* Cairn (SX70687909)
 350m NNW 328° Two Barrows (Hamel Down)* Round Barrow(s) (SX70657921)
 592m SSE 161° Hamel Down Cairn and Cist* Cairn (SX7100878345)
 633m NNW 337° Hamel Down* Barrow Cemetery (SX706795)
 672m NNW 336° Single Barrow (Hamel Down)* Round Barrow(s) (SX70577953)
 1.0km NNW 344° Broad Barrow (Hamel Down)* Round Barrow(s) (SX70577990)
 1.3km NNW 340° Hamel Down Cross* Ancient Cross (SX70428011)
 1.4km NNE 27° Hamel Down row* Stone Row / Alignment (SX71488010)
 1.5km NNE 17° Berry Pound Ancient Village or Settlement (SX713803)
 1.7km NNW 341° Hamel Down Platform Cairn (North)* Cairn (SX70318057)
 2.1km NNW 338° Grimspound* Ancient Village or Settlement (SX70078090)
 2.2km ESE 106° Chinkwell Tor Cairn* Cairn (SX7293078250)
 2.3km NNW 348° Grimslake Cist* Cairn (SX7041881165)
 2.3km SSE 154° Saxon Well* Holy Well or Sacred Spring (SX718768)
 2.6km NW 314° Challacombe Down Standing Stone* Standing Stone (Menhir) (SX69028072)
 2.6km NNW 338° Hookney Tor Cairn* Cairn (SX6990281310)
 2.7km NW 315° Challacombe rows* Multiple Stone Rows / Avenue (SX68988082)
 2.7km NW 314° Challacombe Down Cairn Circle* Cairn (SX68968083)
 3.2km SSE 163° Dunstone Cup Stone Rock Art (SX71677585)
 3.2km WNW 282° Soussons Down Cairns* Barrow Cemetery (SX6770079671)
 3.3km E 91° Hound Tor Ring Cairn* Ring Cairn (SX7409778770)
 3.3km W 265° Soussons Common* Stone Circle (SX6751178692)
 3.3km WNW 287° Soussons Down Stone Row Multiple Stone Rows / Avenue (SX6767079980)
 3.4km NNW 335° Shapley Common Ancient Village or Settlement (SX69428206)
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