corndon tor cairn.
incorporating tors into monuments is all part of ‘capturing, appropriating and controlling the power of the rocks’ (tilley, a phenomenology of landscape 1997). that these outcrops are considered special throughout prehistory is a matter of archaeological record; by the time these monuments are constructed in the late bronze age they are probably overlaying pre-existing monuments or the revered sites of peoples who occupied or roamed these sites before them. the cairns form part of a larger complex of megalithic sites that include stone rows, cairns and cists, later field formations the cairns, and as important, settlements of round houses.
these are generally arrange on the lower slopes and out of the sight line of the cairns on the crest of the hill. as one ascends the slopes it is only above a certain height and away from the settlements that they become visible – a demonstrative demonstration of the division between the land of the living and the land of the dead. on reaching the summit the observer becomes connected across the landscape with other sites where these cairns predominate, three in close proximity to corndon cairn and to yartor cairn across the intervening saddle and where the stone row is situated.
this is augmented reality bronze age style. a natural stone feature is built into a bronze age stone cairn. it is one of four cairns on corndon down all in region of 24m in diameter and about 1.8 to 2m high. this one probably more symbolic than used for burial it reflects the importance given to these tors and their role in the ritual practices of the day. the shape and form of the tor probably resonates too with earlier periods holding an idea of the ancestors and of territorial stewardship.