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HER Number:MDV107503
Name:Peat Charcoal Burning Platforms on Greena Ball

Summary

A group of nine peat charcoal meilers on the slope of Greena Ball. Previously recorded as barrows.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 568 777
Map Sheet:SX57NE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishDartmoor Forest
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishLYDFORD

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses: none recorded

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • Peat Burning Platform (Constructed, XI to XIX - 1100 AD to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

Newman , P., 2012, The Archaeological Legacy of the Carbonarii on Dartmoor – Interim Statement and Gazetter of Peat Charcoal Burning Sites, Greena Ball (Report - Interim). SDV356948.

A cluster of seven 'Meiler' platforms located on the north-east slope of Greena Ball. The largest three of the mounds were formerly designated as 'Tumuli' on Ordnance Survey maps. Map object based on this source.
The existence of a peat charcoal industry on Dartmoor has its origins in the 12th century or earlier. Peat charcoal was used for iron smithing and tin smelting from the Medieval period until the 19th century. It provided a major income for Dartmoor residents. Large areas of suitable peat would have been harvested and dried before being burned to produce charcoal. The platforms onto which these ‘meilers’ were constructed are the only field evidence for the process.
‘Meiler’ platforms comprise raised, usually circular, earthworks with level tops. Although similar to peat drying platforms they lack the peripheral drainage ditch and charcoal samples confirm their use. The level platform was prepared with circular tiers of dried peat bricks with horizontal vents to admit a controlled air flow.
Sites for peat charcoal burning were always on raised ground within areas of visible turf cutting and, on Dartmoor, between altitudes 465 metres and 545 metres OD. The cutting was often extensive and sometimes areas were denuded of peat. The platforms recorded so far are mostly organised in clusters at single locations suggesting that burning was undertaken at regional hubs.


Newman , P., 2018, Archaeological Sites within Merrivale Training Area, Dartmoor National Park, Devon: A condition survey on behalf of Defence Infrastructure Organisation, 09/03/2018 (Report - Survey). SDV361635.

A group of nine peat charcoal meilers on the slope of Greena Ball. Previously recorded as barrows.
Good, stable condition. This updated description supersedes all previous entries for this site - these are not barrows or 'tumuli'.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV356948Report - Interim: Newman , P.. 2012. The Archaeological Legacy of the Carbonarii on Dartmoor – Interim Statement and Gazetter of Peat Charcoal Burning Sites. Digital. Greena Ball.
SDV361635Report - Survey: Newman , P.. 2018. Archaeological Sites within Merrivale Training Area, Dartmoor National Park, Devon: A condition survey on behalf of Defence Infrastructure Organisation. Southwest Landscape Investigations. A4 Comb Bound. 09/03/2018. [Mapped feature: #113051 ]

Associated Monuments

MDV4597Related to: Cairn on Greena Ball (Monument)
MDV4228Related to: Round Barrow 'A' on Greena Ball (Monument)
MDV4229Related to: Round Barrow 'B' on Greena Ball (Monument)
MDV4587Related to: Round Barrow 'C' east of Greena Ball (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6556 - Survey of peat charcoal burning sites around Dartmoor Forest
  • EDV7441 - Condition survey of the archaeological sites of Merrivale Training Area
  • EDV7570 - Condition survey of Merrivale Range training area

Date Last Edited:Mar 26 2019 12:47PM