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HER Number:MDV130978
Name:Field system north of Wapsworthy Bridge


Relict field system visible on the lidar survey data (and faintly on aerial photographs); remains can also be seen on the ground of possible Prehistoric enclosure, as well as later Medieval lynchets and more modern stone-faced banks cutting across the older remains. Some of the boundaries remain in use and are shown on the modern Ordnance Survey mapping.


Grid Reference:SX 538 805
Map Sheet:SX58SW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishPeter Tavy
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishPETER TAVY

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses: none recorded

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • FIELD SYSTEM (Early Bronze Age to Late Iron Age - 2200 BC (Between) to 42 AD? (Between))
  • LYNCHET (Early Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD (Between) to 1750 AD (Between))

Full description

Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, 1985, Aerial Photograph Project (Dartmoor) - Dartmoor Pre-NMP (Cartographic). SDV319854.

Remains of field system recorded at SX 5401 8072; a number of boundaries depicted, enclosing at least four roughly rectangular fields shown on the map overlay. A possible hut (MDV21707) also recorded in the vicinity.

Environment Agency WMS, 2019, LiDAR DSM data (1m resolution), 2019 (Cartographic). SDV362957.

A complex series of earthworks from a former field system visible on the lidar survey data north of Wapsworthy Bridge, Peter Tavy. Visited July 2021 by National Park archaeologist, these appear to be the remains of Prehistoric enclosure with some later Medieval lynchets (running across fields at SX 5379 8058) with some more modern, locally distinct stone-faced banks cutting across the older remains. Some of the boundaries remain in use and are shown on the modern Ordnance Survey mapping.

Newman, P., 2022, An Archaeological Assessment of lands at Coffins, Peter Tavy, 4-, fig 5 (Report - Assessment). SDV364930.

Series of remarkably well preserved earthworks having possible prehistoric origins, with continuity through the medieval and post medieval period recorded during assessment work carried out in Spring 2022. See report for full details of the remains.
The small enclosures defined by low banks and lynchets probably represent remains of a prehistoric field system, now much silted and overwhelmed by turf. Isolated stones from the walls remains in situ, and it is likely that further evidence of stone walling is buried beneath the turf though it is also likely that some stone was removed in later periods. The earthworks cannot be dated accurately, but based on data from investigations elsewhere on Dartmoor, they are most likely to be of the mid-to late Bronze Age from the 2nd and early 1st centuries BC. No contemporary hut circle could be identified within the boundary of the survey, but at least one was noted within Lower Coffin outside the survey to the southwest at SX53697 80355 amidst an array of similar earthworks and well-defined probable walls.
Dating the medieval activity is also difficult, and the relationship between the prehistoric earthworks and the medieval evidence is not clear, but it appears that the prehistoric earthworks were never fully effaced and that the main features of the earlier medieval occupation of this land are the lynchets (a, f, h, j) which defined the areas used for cultivation, though may also have fossilised existing boundaries. One of these areas has clear evidence of ridge and furrow and it is possible that the area to the east of lynchet (a) was also ploughed, though the earthwork or lidar evidence is lacking.

National Mapping Programme, post-1985, Dartmoor NMP Transcription data (Cartographic). SDV364293.

National Mapping Programme data records several additional banks in the region highlighted by the 1985 project work, as well as further banks to the south-west.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV319854Cartographic: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. 1985. Aerial Photograph Project (Dartmoor) - Dartmoor Pre-NMP. Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England Aerial Photograph P. Cartographic.
SDV362957Cartographic: Environment Agency WMS. 2019. LiDAR DSM data (1m resolution), 2019. Environment Agency LiDAR data. Digital. [Mapped feature: #130901 ]

Associated Monuments

MDV21707Related to: Alleged hut circle, Peter Tavy (Monument)
MDV125936Related to: Bank west of Brousentor Farm (Monument)
MDV130979Related to: Enclosure with hut west of Wapsworthy Bridge (Monument)
MDV130980Related to: Field boundaries north-west of Wapsworthy Bridge (Monument)
MDV21706Related to: Field system north of Longbettor, Peter Tavy (Monument)
MDV133039Related to: Hut circle north-west of Wapsworthy Bridge (Monument)
MDV66691Related to: Lower Stone of Rotary Quern at Kingsett Farm, Peter Tavy (Find Spot)
MDV133038Related to: Roofless field barn at Coffins, Peter Tavy (Building)
MDV125933Related to: Stonework features south of Baggator Brook (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV8816 - Assessment of lands at Coffins, Peter Tavy

Date Last Edited:Jul 22 2022 4:08PM