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HER Number:MDV13386
Name:Pillow mounds south-west of enclosures on Dockwell Ridge


At least three pillow mounds visible in this location; north of the River Avon, opposite Brentmoor House. A possible fourth referred to in early reports seems unlikely. This site is on the local list of Nationally Important Dartmoor sites.


Grid Reference:SX 682 637
Map Sheet:SX66SE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishSouth Brent
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishSOUTH BRENT

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Earthworks of a group of at least three Medieval pillow mounds north of the River Avon, opposite Brentmoor House

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX66SE/248
  • SHINE Candidate (Yes)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • PILLOW MOUND (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD (Between))

Full description

Royal Air Force, 1946, CPE/UK 1890, 2277-2278 (Aerial Photograph). SDV140289.

National Monuments Record, 1976, NMR SX6863/1, 42-43 (Aerial Photograph). SDV162074.

Robinson, R., 1978, Pillow mounds opposite Brentmoor House (Worksheet). SDV162072.

Four well preserved rabbit buries or pillow mounds opposite Brentmoor House on the left bank of the River Avon. These are within an area enclosed by an old cornditch, but now reverted to moorland. Approximate grid references given as: SX68256375, SX68266371, SX68326367, SX68356362 (A-D).
No vermin traps have been found in the area. There is one small bury behind Shipley Cottage (once Shipley Farm) so it would appear that these do not relate to Shipley. It is possible that Brentmoor House conceals the site of an earlier farmstead and that these buries were administered from this. The land is very boulder-strewn and overgrown with bracken. The buries lie up and down the slope within a few metres of the river and are turf-covered.
A; measures 14.0 by 5.0 meters and is 1.0 meter in height, with a well marked ditch at the top and sides.
B; measures 14.0 by 5.0 meters and is 1.0 meter in height, with a well marked ditch at the top and sides.
C; measures 10.5 by 3.0 meters and is 0.25 meters in height. This feature is possibly not a pillow mound. It is stone built on the south side, with a ditch on the north side and at the top. Many large stones present.
D; measures 17.0 by 4.0 meters and is 1.5 meters in height, and widens to 5.0 meters at the centre. This mound is very flat-topped and has squared-off ends, unlike the other mounds. Other details: Sketch plan included.

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

Three pillow mounds visible on 1976 National Monuments Record and 1946 Royal Air Force aerial photograph at SX68236376, SX68266369 and SX68356357.

Gerrard, S., 2004, List of Sites Remaining to be Considered for Designation on Dartmoor (Un-published). SDV345444.

This site was considered for designation as a Scheduled Ancient Monument during the Monument Protection Programme. The programme ended before the entire list of sites was successfully scheduled so this is included on a local list of Nationally Important Sites.

GeoInformation Group Ltd, 2010, 1:625 2010 Colour (12.5cm resolution) (Aerial Photograph). SDV346026.

Three pillow mounds clearly visible on the 2010 aerial photography. Fourth mound unclear.

Richards, A. F., 2010, Untitled Source (Personal Comment). SDV346059.

The source evidence seems to support the claim of three pillow mounds in this area, not four. Robinson’s record is uncertain on what she describes as ‘C’ and the 2010 aerial photography shows only three, and they are very clear. Approximate grid references given by Robinson are slightly inaccurate and only the first grid references stated in the Aerial Photograph Project is accurate.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV140289Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. CPE/UK 1890. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 2277-2278.
SDV162072Worksheet: Robinson, R.. 1978. Pillow mounds opposite Brentmoor House. South Brent Parish Checklist. Digital.
SDV162074Aerial Photograph: National Monuments Record. 1976. NMR SX6863/1. National Monuments Record Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 42-43.
SDV319854Interpretation: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. 1985. Aerial Photograph Project. Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England Aerial Photograph P. Cartographic.
SDV345444Un-published: Gerrard, S.. 2004. List of Sites Remaining to be Considered for Designation on Dartmoor. Digital.
SDV346026Aerial Photograph: GeoInformation Group Ltd. 2010. 1:625 2010 Colour (12.5cm resolution). 2010 Aerial Photographs. Digital. [Mapped feature: #80909 ]
SDV346059Personal Comment: Richards, A. F.. 2010. Digital.

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:May 16 2016 2:03PM