<< Our Photo Pages >> Drizzlecombe Giant's Basin - Cairn in England in Devon

Submitted by TheCaptain on Friday, 05 November 2004  Page Views: 10503

Neolithic and Bronze AgeSite Name: Drizzlecombe Giant's Basin Alternative Name: The Giants Basin, Drizzlecombe 5; Drizzlecombe Cairns 7, 8 and 9; Grinsell Sheepstor 33
Country: England County: Devon Type: Cairn
Nearest Town: Tavistock  Nearest Village: Lee Moor / Sheepstor
Map Ref: SX5920266945  Landranger Map Number: 202
Latitude: 50.485355N  Longitude: 3.986038W
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
4 Ambience:
2Not Good
0No data.
5 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

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I have visited· I would like to visit

philw visited on 23rd Aug 2021 - their rating: Cond: 4 Amb: 3 Access: 2

Catrinm visited on 9th Jul 2020 - their rating: Cond: 3 Amb: 4 Access: 3

Anne T visited on 15th May 2019 - their rating: Cond: 3 Amb: 4 Access: 3 Giant's Basin and associated smaller cairns: Before we arrived at the stone rows, despite having printed off the Pastscape and Historic England entries for these sites, I hadn’t really got the full picture of how complex and interesting this area of Drizzlecombe was. The Giant’s Basin, to the south east of the cairn at the top of Drizzlecombe Stone Row 1/A, is enormous, and reminiscent of the large cairns at Kilmartin, albeit covered in grass. Thanks to Dave P and his trusty GPS (along with vast knowledge of Dartmoor, of course!) took me over and pointed at the three cairns at its western side. I walked half way up the slope to the top of the cairn and photographed part of the the robbed out interior.

cazzyjane have visited here

Average ratings for this site from all visit loggers: Condition: 3.33 Ambience: 3.67 Access: 2.67

Drizzlecombe Giant's Basin
Drizzlecombe Giant's Basin submitted by Bladup : The large Giant's Basin. (Vote or comment on this photo)
The Giants Basin is a large cairn making up part of the Drizzlecombe complex on southwestern Dartmoor in Devon. It is positioned just to the southeast of the main Drizzlecombe stone rows, at the position between rows 1 and 2.

The Giant's Basin (Butler Drizzlecombe Cairn 5) is a massive mound of stones, approx 22 metres in diameter, and still 4 metres in height, but the centre has been hollowed out in the past, probably giving it it's name.

There are three much smaller cairns (Butler 7, 8 & 9) just a couple of metres in diameter positioned just around the outer southwestern edge of the big cairn, whilst to the northwest, halfway to the cairn at the head of row 1, is the remains of a cist, Butler cist 6.

In the surrounding area are several more smaller cairns.

Update July 2019: The Giant's Basin with its three smaller cairns is recorded as Pastscape Monument No. 438626 and forms part of the scheduling information for Historic England List ID 1014145. The Devon and Dartmoor HER also includes an entry for this cairn; see MDV3372 (Giant's Basin cairn, Drizzlecombe).

Prehistoric Dartmoor Walks also features a number of entries for the Giant's Basin. For more information see:
Giant’s Basin Cairn;
Foot of Giant’s Basin (a) Cairn at SX 59188 66945 (Butler Cairn 7);
Foot of Giant’s Basin (b) Cairn at SX 59189 66941 (Butler Cairn 8); and
Foot of Giant’s Basin (c) Cairn at SX 59190 66935 (Butler Cairn 9).

Butler, in his "Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities", volume 3, page 137 tells us: "Twenty-four metres to the south east of cairn 1 (the cairn at the head of row 1) is the Giant’s Basin cairn, (cairn) 5 (22 x 4m) with (a) huge central hollow but still retaining a good bowl-shape, and between the two are the probably remains of a cist, (cairn) 6. A large slab, very likely the capstone, is propped over two uprights in the positions of the endstones, but the sides have gone as have all traces of the mound. Nearby three small cairns at the foot of the Giant’s Basin are each pitted at the centre (cairns numbered) 7-9 (2.5 to 3.0m)".

To learn more about this complex and interesting area, see Prehistoric Dartmoor Walks (PDW) entry for the Drizzlecombe Ceremonial Complex (Photos 1).
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Drizzlecombe Giant's Basin
Drizzlecombe Giant's Basin submitted by cazzyjane : Giants basin standing beside the earlier 2nd stone row. (Vote or comment on this photo)

Drizzlecombe Giant's Basin
Drizzlecombe Giant's Basin submitted by Anne T : Standing just west of the Giant's Cairn looking almost due east over it. The three cairns at its western end are marked (Butler cairns 7, 8 and 9; Prehistoric Dartmoor Walks cairn a, b and c) (Vote or comment on this photo)

Drizzlecombe Giant's Basin
Drizzlecombe Giant's Basin submitted by Anne T : Standing towards the south eastern end of Giant's Basin cairn, looking across its southern 'face'. The longstone of Drizzlecombe stone row 3 can be seen just above centre/left of the photo. (Vote or comment on this photo)

Drizzlecombe Giant's Basin
Drizzlecombe Giant's Basin submitted by Andy B : The ditch around the Giant's Basin cairn has gaps in it. Sandy G suggests it may have been an earlier henge monument that the cairn was built on top of. (Vote or comment on this photo)

Drizzlecombe Giant's Basin
Drizzlecombe Giant's Basin submitted by Andy B

Drizzlecombe Giant's Basin
Drizzlecombe Giant's Basin submitted by Anne T : The western end of the Giant's Basin, looking east/south east towards the River Plym and some old quarry workings on its eastern bank.

Drizzlecombe Giant's Basin
Drizzlecombe Giant's Basin submitted by Anne T : Standing almost on top of the cairn, looking over its robbed out centre. The River Plym runs in the line between the hills (just left of centre/top to top right of the photo).

Drizzlecombe Giant's Basin
Drizzlecombe Giant's Basin submitted by Anne T : Giant's Basin Cairn, with the remains of the cist (Butler cist 6) in the left foreground. A stunningly large cairn, very reminiscent of the ones at Kilmartin, but covered with turf.

Drizzlecombe Giant's Basin
Drizzlecombe Giant's Basin submitted by Bladup : The Giant's Basin and the Sun.

Drizzlecombe Giant's Basin
Drizzlecombe Giant's Basin submitted by Bladup : Giant's Basin and Standing Stone (and sheep).

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Nearby sites listing. In the following links * = Image available
 21m WNW 296° Drizzlecombe Cist 6* Cairn (SX5918366955)
 38m WNW 295° Drizzlecombe cairn 1.* Cairn (SX5916866962)
 41m W 274° Drizzlecombe row 1* Multiple Stone Rows / Avenue (SX5916166949)
 56m N 7° Drizzlecombe menhir 2* Standing Stone (Menhir) (SX59216700)
 75m N 5° Drizzlecombe* Multiple Stone Rows / Avenue (SX59216702)
 78m WNW 300° Drizzlecombe menhir 3* Standing Stone (Menhir) (SX5913566986)
 122m NNE 26° Drizzlecombe row 2* Stone Row / Alignment (SX5925867054)
 132m NNE 16° Drizzlecombe row 3* Stone Row / Alignment (SX5924367071)
 135m NNE 26° Drizzlecombe cairn 2* Ring Cairn (SX5926567065)
 144m NNE 19° Drizzlecombe cairn 3* Ring Cairn (SX5925367080)
 160m NNE 11° Drizzlecombe cairn 4* Stone Circle (SX5923867101)
 168m WSW 238° Drizzlecombe menhir 1* Standing Stone (Menhir) (SX5905766860)
 206m NNW 337° Drizzlecombe cairn 14* Cairn (SX5912767137)
 211m W 267° Drizzlecombe stone 4* Standing Stone (Menhir) (SX58996694)
 268m SSE 155° Giant's hill cairn* Cairn (SX59316670)
 268m NNW 348° Drizzlecombe cairn 13* Cist (SX5915167208)
 275m SW 217° Drizzlecombe cist 22* Cist (SX59036673)
 294m NE 35° Drizzlecombe Cairn 18* Cairn (SX5937667182)
 301m NNE 17° Drizzlecombe Settlement* Ancient Village or Settlement (SX59306723)
 307m SE 128° Giant's Hill West* Cist (SX59446675)
 444m NNE 28° Drizzlecombe Cairn 23* Cairn (SX5942367331)
 446m ESE 119° Giant's Hill East* Cist (SX5958766717)
 447m NNE 20° Drizzlecombe W row* Stone Row / Alignment (SX5937067360)
 450m NNE 21° Cairn At Head of Drizzlecombe Row 4* Cairn (SX5937467361)
 460m NNE 20° Standing Stone Near Cairn at Head of Drizzlecombe Row 4* Standing Stone (Menhir) (SX5937067374)
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"Drizzlecombe Giant's Basin" | Login/Create an Account | 1 comment
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Re: Drizzlecombe Cairn by simcon on Monday, 22 September 2003
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Condition|Ambience|Access in my opinion is 353. 5 for ambience and it deserves it. It's one of the best sites to visit on Dartmoor and it has almost everything - rows, cairns, cists and enclosures. There's another cairn called Giant's Basin Cairn that I have two pictures off and I will post them; it's massive. 3 for access is ok because it's a 2 mile walk out from the nearest parking area. Landscape is awesome.

As there are three cairns pictured here these figures will suffice for the group as they are all together.
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