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HER Number:MDV125512
Name:Pebble pavement on Aylesbeare Common


Flat rectangular pavement composed of large pebbles, 7.3 metres long and 2.3 metres wide, levelled into the hill slope. Thought to be of military function, dating to around 1800; perhaps as a base for a building of some sort.


Grid Reference:SY 056 902
Map Sheet:SY09SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishAylesbeare
DistrictEast Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishAYLESBEARE

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses: none recorded

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • BUILDING PLATFORM (Constructed, XVIII to XIX - 1775 AD to 1835 AD?)
  • MILITARY CAMP? (XVIII to XIX - 1775 AD (Between) to 1835 AD? (Between))

Full description

Tilley, C., 2017, Landscape in the Longue Durée, 361-62, figs 11.9, 11.18-19 (Monograph). SDV361032.

The pebble structure in the scrape
This had been partly exposed and damaged by the machine- stripping operations and was excavated in 2009. It proved to be a flat rectangular pavement composed of large pebbles, 7.3 metres long and 2.3 metres wide, levelled into the hill slope. Down- slope there was an adjoining area of pebbles measuring 1 metre square. The pavement is composed of pebbles of various sizes, some laid flat, others vertically, creating a relatively smooth and stable level surface that was comfortable to walk across (Figure 11.18). This was interpreted as a house floor with an entrance on the down- slope side. The pavement was sectioned along the up- slope edge. This showed that the pebbles used to construct it were large, 10– 18 centimetres in length and set 6 centimetres deep into the underlying soil, the colour and composition of which did not differ from the natural surface. There were no artefacts or charcoal. Most pebbles were set vertically but some of the very large ones flat or horizontally.
On Hutchinson’s 1861 plan he mentions ‘officers’ tents’ at the eastern end of the middle of two rows of the soldiers’ pits (see Figure 11.8). It may be that the officers at Aylesbeare did not live in tents at all but in a much more substantial rectangular house with a well- laid pebble floor.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV361032Monograph: Tilley, C.. 2017. Landscape in the Longue Durée. Landscape in the Longue Durée. Digital. 361-62, figs 11.9, 11.18-19. [Mapped feature: #116974 Polygon is approximate, ]

Associated Monuments

MDV28618Related to: Circular Features on Harpford Common, Aylesbeare (Monument)
MDV125513Related to: Pebble pavement on Aylesbeare Common (Monument)
MDV54219Related to: Pebble platforms, Harpford Common (Monument)
MDV125510Related to: Platforms on Aylesbeare Common (Monument)
MDV54231Related to: Rectangular Earthwork Feature (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Jul 27 2022 6:38PM