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HER Number:MDV15033
Name:Part of the Great Western Reave, Merrivale

Summary

380 metre length of the Great Western Reave surviving as a 2 metre wide, 0.5 metre high rubble bank, running downslope from the eastern end of the Merrivale stone alignments in a south easterly direction. At least five separate cairns lie on top of or immediately adjacent to the reave, whilst one stone hut circle is attached to it and another two lie in close proximity. Hut circles are also closely associated. Southern end of the reave is lost in an area of tin streamworking.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 556 746
Map Sheet:SX57SE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishDartmoor Forest
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishWALKHAMPTON

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX 57 SE 116
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX57SE/167
  • Old SAM Ref: 24193(PART)
  • Pastscape: 440360

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • REAVE (Bronze Age - 2200 BC to 701 BC (Between))

Full description

Fleming, A., 1978, The Prehistoric Landscape of Dartmoor. Part 1: South Dartmoor, 97-123 (Article in Serial). SDV235265.

Continuation of Great Western Reave.


National Monument Record, 1979, SF1510/174 (Aerial Photograph). SDV235271.


Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1980, SX57SE116, 28/01/1980 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV235266.

A discontinuous reave extends for 380 metres in a south-easterly direction from SX55587479 near the end of a stone row and the crest of a low broad ridge, terminating at SX55787446 on a low cliff demarcating an area of tin streaming. The northern 100 metres is shown and described on the Ordnance Survey 6 inch (1962) map as 'track of old wall' and the reave as a whole is considered by Fleming to be part of the 'Great Western Reave'.
There is no consistent pattern of construction; rather poor double-facing, in situ boulders and rubble occur haphazardly, the width varying from 1.5 metres to 2.3 metres with an average height of 0.6 metres. Towards the southern end about 30.0 metres is spread and turf-covered, appearing as a grassy bank 3.2 metres wide and 0.3 metres high. An unusual aspect is the number of breaks. Two 'a' and 'b' of 180 metres and 25.0 metres may indicate respect for pre-existing settlement; others, of 6.0 metres to 8.0 metres seem not to be modern or the result of stone robbing, while at 'c' SX55747451 there is a distinct inturn to the south-west. The linear cairns in the northern half are also of particular note. The northernmost is clearly subsequent to the reave, upright slabs of which protrude through the top. Four others, detached but more or less aligned, could represent constrictions within a gap, but this cannot apply to the sixth which is deliberately detached from, or ignored by, the alignment. There is some reason to doubt whether this should be considered the Great Western Reave, another part of which is 500 metres to the north-east, but would require a re-alignment of 70 degrees. A continuation of the present alignment, interrupted by 300 metres of settlement and clitter, leads to a further 200 metres of reave which ends near the bank of the River Walkham.
It is arguable that the 'Great Western Reave' is not a single land boundary but a number of units with local functions.


Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, 1985, Aerial Photograph Project (Interpretation). SDV319854.

Visible on National Monuments Record aerial photograph and recorded on map overlay.


Gerrard, S., 1990-2002, Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset., MPP133497, 1994 (Report - Survey). SDV277946.

380 metre length of Great Western Reave running from above SX55777446 to SX55587479. Within the scheduled area it runs downslope in a south-easterly direction, is composed of loose rubble, measures 2 metres wide and stands up to 0.5 metres high.
At least five separate cairns lie on top of or immediately adjacent to the reave, whilst one hut circle is attached to it and another two lie in close proximity. An 80 metre break in the reave exists within the vicinity of the two hut circles although it probably survives along this length as a buried feature. The southern end of the reave terminates on the edge of a tin streamwork which has destroyed the southern extension. The northern end of the reave is visible up to the eastern end of the stone alignment [MDV14795]. A length of rubble walling within scheduling SM 24191 at SX55597486 may represent a continuation of this reave, which after a considerable break reappears at SX55677534.


Butler, J., 1994, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Three - The South-West, 31 (Monograph). SDV137656.

Reave originating on Long Ash Brook, with five or six small cairns cited alongside/on it. Tapers to a stop opposite the double stone rows, which it appears to have pre-dated, as their staggered eastern ends match its orientation.


Butler, J., 1994, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Three - The South-West, Map 44.8 (Monograph). SDV137656.


Probert, S. A. J., 2000, The Merrivale Guardianship Area, Walkhampton, Devon, 7 (Report - Survey). SDV344969.

Part of the Great Western Reave which exists as a 155 metre length of earth fast blocks and boulders interspersed with patches of smaller and more compact material. Has suffered greatly from stone robbing and would have been far more substantial in its original form. At the eastern edge of the guardianship area, the reave measures 2.5 metres wide and is on average 0.4 metres high, although it diminishes in height and disappears completely immediately to the north of the leat.


Dartmoor National Park + English Heritage, 2004, Merrivale: An Archaeological Landscape (Leaflet). SDV320201.


Department for Culture, Media and Sport, 2004, SMC for reave at Merrivale (Correspondence). SDV320169.

Scheduled Monument Consent granted for works concerning a five year programme of management works including erosion repairs.


Ordnance Survey, 2010, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV344030.

Map object based on this Source.


Historic England, 2016, National Heritage List for England, Accessed 22/08/2016 (National Heritage List for England). SDV359353.

This monument includes three stone alignments, ten cairns, three stone hut circles and a length of the Great Western Reave, it is situated on a gentle south west facing slope on Longash Common overlooking the valley of the River Walkham.
In the area to the south east of the alignments, a length of the Great Western Reave together with three stone hut circles and five cairns are visible. The Great Western Reave has a total length of over 10km and is the longest known prehistoric land division boundary on Dartmoor. A 380m length of the reave survives within this scheduling where it runs downslope in a south easterly direction, is composed of rubble, measures 2m wide and stands up to 0.5m high.
At least five separate cairns lie on top of or immediately adjacent to the reave, whilst one stone hut circle is attached to it and another two lie in close proximity. An 80m break in the reave apparently exists within the vicinity of the two stone hut circles, although the reave probably survives along this length as a buried feature. The southern end of the reave terminates on the edge of a tin streamwork, which has destroyed the southern extension. The northern end of the reave is visible up to the eastern end of the northern stone alignment. The five cairns associated with the reave are all considered to be more recent than the reave and are believed to have been constructed to serve a funerary purpose. The four northern cairns partly overlie the Great Western Reave whilst the southern one lies 1m to the east. These cairns vary in diameter from 2.5m to 5m and in height from 0.6m to 0.75m. One of the cairns has a kerb made up of two concentric rings of stone.
The three stone hut circles situated within the vicinity of the Great Western Reave each survive as banks of stone and earth surrounding a circular internal area. The interior of the northern hut measures 7.5m in diameter and is surrounded by a 1.8m wide wall standing up to 0.6m high. The interior of the western hut measures 6m in diameter and is defined by a 1.8m wide wall standing up to 0.7m high, except on the SSW where partial robbing has removed a 4m length of walling. Within the vicinity of both huts the Great Western Reave survives as a buried feature. The southern stone hut circle is attached to the western side of the reave and its interior measures 6.3m in diameter. The surrounding outer walls are 1.6m wide and stand up to 0.3m high.


National Monument Record, 2016, Pastscape (Website). SDV359354.

It is arguable that the 'Great Western Reave' is not a single land boundary but a number of units with purely local functions (citing Fleming, 1978).

Sources / Further Reading

  • Monograph: Butler, J.. 1994. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Three - The South-West. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Three - The South-West. Three. Paperback Volume. 31.
  • Article in Serial: Fleming, A.. 1978. The Prehistoric Landscape of Dartmoor. Part 1: South Dartmoor. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society. 44. Unknown. 97-123.
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1980. SX57SE116. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Unknown. 28/01/1980.
  • Aerial Photograph: National Monument Record. 1979. SF1510/174. National Monument Record Aerial Photograph. Unknown.
  • Report - Survey: Gerrard, S.. 1990-2002. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Mixed Archive Material + Digital. MPP133497, 1994.
  • Interpretation: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. 1985. Aerial Photograph Project. Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England Aerial Photograph P. Cartographic.
  • Correspondence: Department for Culture, Media and Sport. 2004. SMC for reave at Merrivale. Scheduled Monument Consent Letter.
  • Leaflet: Dartmoor National Park + English Heritage. 2004. Merrivale: An Archaeological Landscape. A5 Stapled.
  • Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2010. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital).
  • Report - Survey: Probert, S. A. J.. 2000. The Merrivale Guardianship Area, Walkhampton, Devon. English Heritage. 1247982. A4 Comb Bound + Digital. 7.
  • National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2016. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital. Accessed 22/08/2016.
  • Website: National Monument Record. 2016. Pastscape. http://www.pastscape.org.uk. Website.

Associated Monuments

MDV28492Parent of: Cairn to the east of reave, Merrivale (Monument)
MDV12817Related to: Great Western Reave (middle section) (Monument)
MDV15036Related to: Great Western Reave (southern section), Walkhampton Common (Monument)
MDV4113Related to: Great Western Reave at White Tor (Monument)
MDV4111Related to: Great Western Reave, Roos Tor Section (Monument)
MDV15037Related to: Leeden Tor cross reave, Walkhampton (Monument)
MDV80530Related to: Merrivale Leat (Monument)
MDV4961Related to: Possible cairn partly overlying reave, Merrivale (Monument)
MDV15025Related to: REAVE in the Parish of Peter Tavy (Monument)
MDV15034Related to: REAVE in the Parish of Walkhampton (Monument)
MDV55004Related to: Reave on Walkhampton Common (Monument)
MDV15038Related to: The Walkhampton Common Reave (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV325 - Site visit to Merrivale
  • EDV4830 - Survey of guardianship area, Merrivale
  • EDV4859 - Monument Protection Programme visit, Merrivale settlement

Date Last Edited:Jun 26 2017 4:06PM