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HER Number:MDV14142
Name:Ditsworthy Warren, Sheepstor

Summary

Ditsworthy Warren an important rabbit warren containing over 50 pillow mounds and a number of vermin traps. Records of this warren date from 1676 until 1947. It may be mentioned as 'Durkesworthi' in the 15th century. This site is included in the local list of Nationally Important Dartmoor sites.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 582 665
Map Sheet:SX56NE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishShaugh Prior
Civil ParishSheepstor
DistrictSouth Hams
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishSHAUGH PRIOR
Ecclesiastical ParishSHEEPSTOR

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Medieval landscape at Gutter Tor and Eastern Tor comprising Ditsworthy Warren with numerous pillow mounds, a field system and deserted settlement site and sub-circular enclosure containing ridge and furrow, Bronze Age hut circle sites and a cairn

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: 438818
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX56NE/88
  • SHINE Candidate (Yes)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • RABBIT WARREN (XVII to XX - 1676 AD to 1947 AD (Between))

Full description

Haynes, R. G., Ditsworthy Warren (Un-published). SDV346275.


Gover, J. E. B. + Mawer, A. + Stenton, F. M., 1931, The Place-Names of Devon: Part One, 239 (Monograph). SDV1312.

Ditsworthy Warren may be the 'Durkesworth(y)' mentioned in 1474. It was mentioned again in 1481 as 'Durkysworthi'.


Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/106G/UK/1190, 4261 (Aerial Photograph). SDV340833.


Royal Air Force, 1948, RAF/CPE/UK/2494, 4130-31 (Aerial Photograph). SDV147533.


Royal Air Force, 1953, 58/1110, 0038 (Aerial Photograph). SDV157241.


Linehan, C. D., 1966, Deserted Sites and Rabbit-Warrens on Dartmoor, Devon, 139-143 (Article in Serial). SDV307246.

Ditsworthy warren. Examples of revetted stonework in pillow mounds, of which 21 have been observed. Other details: Table 2.


Haynes, R. G., 1970, Vermin Traps and Rabbit Warrens on Dartmoor, 160 (Article in Serial). SDV166302.

Ditsworthy Warren House (SX56NE/7). The warren now consists of about 1100 acres. But originally probably only of 230 acres, the remainder being added in the mid 19th century. It ceased to operate as a warren in the 1930s. The warren is well-equipped with buries and has 14 vermin traps, 2 of which are almost complete.


Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1977, SX56NE111 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV254566.

The warren is of approximately 1 square kilometre, and incorporates some 53 pillow mounds, average length 16.0 meters, though the longest is 165 meters. Four are made from an old boundary bank. Close dating difficult. Ordnance Survey reference quotes at length from Haynes' historical notes.


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

Recorded in aerial photograph project.


Rendell, P., 1989, Ditsworthy Warren, 65 (Article in Serial). SDV361688.

Ditsworthy Warren was established by the 1750's. In 1780 it covered 230 acres increasing to 1000 acres in the mid 19th century. The closure of the warren was between 1930-1954 when myxomatosis took hold of the rabbit population.


Robertson, J. G., 1991, The Archaeology of the Upper Plym (Post-Graduate Thesis). SDV166324.

Extensive documentary reasearch into the history of the Warren.


Butler, J., 1994, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Three - The South-West, Map 49 (Monograph). SDV137656.

Depicted on map by Butler. Other details: Map 49.


Griffiths, D. M., 1996, Ditsworthy Warren (Personal Comment). SDV346274.

Haynes' grid references are sometimes unreliable. There are therefore probably more recorded on the Sites and Monument Record than exist in fact.


Unknown, 1996, Untitled Source (Unattributed Sites and Monuments Register Entry). SDV254559.

Vermin traps:- SX56NE/88-92; SX56NE/93/1; SX56NE/96-99; SX56SE/65/2; SX56NE/250-259 pillow mounds:- SX56NE/149.


Fletcher, M. + Newman, P. + Probert, S., 1999, Drizzlecombe, Eylesbarrow, Ditsworthy and Hartor areas in the Plym Valley, West Devon, 6-8 (Report - Survey). SDV346268.

Records regarding Ditsworthy as a warren date back to 1676, when Sir Nicholas Slanning leased the holding to Edward Meade who was described as a Warrener. Meade held the land until 1719 when it transferred to William Nicholls who also held Legis Tor Warren. Apart from a break between 1782 and 1800, the Nicholls family remained tenants at Ditsworthy until 1830 when the land passed to Nicholas Ware who leased the holding until the end of warrening in 1947.
The bounds of Ditsworthy Warren are described by Linehan in 1966 as following the long wall north from Legis Tor Warren to Burcombe Gate then south-east along the Sheepstor Brook to the saddle between Whittenknowles Rocks and Eastern Tor. Between the ridge and the Drizzlecombe Brook are two possible courses one of which is represented by a number of unmarked upright granite posts.
Within the warren are a total of 54 pillow mounds, the vast majority of which are orientated with their long axes cutting the contours and well-defined drainage ditches around their upper ends and flanking their long sides. The mounds vary in length from 6.5 meters to 35.0 meters but are generally around 7.5 – 8.0 meters in width and around 1.3 meters in height. Most mounds have rounded ends and flat tops and apart from one exception they are built from soil on a base of large stones. North-west of Ditsworthy farmhouse are two mounds only 3.0 meters apart, the eastern of which has stone revetted sides and a turf cap as well as not possessing a drainage ditch.
Four pillow mounds were also constructed within the workings of the former Eylesbarrow Mine after 1859, when Ditsworthy land was increased to take over the holding of the mine company. These mounds have stone bases with soil or turf caps and square ends, ranging in length from 12.5 – 19.0 meters, 4.8 - 5.7 meters in width and are generally 1.2 meters high.
Eight vermin traps were recorded in the Ditsworthy area, mostly consisting of in-situ trap boxes and /or funnel walls, the best-preserved examples consisting of stone-lined channels that formally contained an operating catch which triggered a mechanism to seal the tunnel with shutters sliding in grooves at the trap ends.
Elaborate kennels were constructed adjacent to Ditsworthy farmhouse to house the dogs used by the warreners.


Whitbourn, A., 2001, An Archaeological Investigation into features comprising, and associated with, Ditsworthy Warren, 10-92, Map 5 (Report - Assessment). SDV360381.

Ditsworthy Warren was in use for at least 200 years. Rabbit warrening provided meat and fur and was often associated with the tin indutry. The boundaries of the warren seem to have changed during its occupation. Seventeen pillow mounds were compared during the survey with eight being within enclosures and six close to a Bronze Age pound which may have been built using stone form the earlier pound. The warren originally consisted of 230 acres and was extended to 1100 acres in the mid 19th century. It was last used in the 1930s. There were possibly 53 pillow mounds of between 16 - 105 metres long including 4 incorporated into the old boundary bank. 21 of the pillow mounds included revetted stone work. 14 vermin traps were identified within the warren.


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.


National Monuments Record, 2011, 438818 (National Monuments Record Database). SDV346276.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV1312Monograph: Gover, J. E. B. + Mawer, A. + Stenton, F. M.. 1931. The Place-Names of Devon: Part One. The Place-Names of Devon: Part One. VIII. A5 Hardback. 239.
SDV137656Monograph: Butler, J.. 1994. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Three - The South-West. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Three - The South-West. Three. Paperback Volume. Map 49.
SDV147533Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1948. RAF/CPE/UK/2494. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 4130-31.
SDV157241Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1953. 58/1110. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. 0038.
SDV166302Article in Serial: Haynes, R. G.. 1970. Vermin Traps and Rabbit Warrens on Dartmoor. Post-Medieval Archaeology. 4. A4 Bound. 160.
SDV166324Post-Graduate Thesis: Robertson, J. G.. 1991. The Archaeology of the Upper Plym.
SDV254559Unattributed Sites and Monuments Register Entry: Unknown. 1996.
SDV254566Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1977. SX56NE111. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV307246Article in Serial: Linehan, C. D.. 1966. Deserted Sites and Rabbit-Warrens on Dartmoor, Devon. Medieval Archaeology. 10. Digital. 139-143.
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.
SDV340833Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/106G/UK/1190. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 4261.
SDV345444Un-published: Gerrard, S.. 2004. List of Sites Remaining to be Considered for Designation on Dartmoor. Digital.
SDV346268Report - Survey: Fletcher, M. + Newman, P. + Probert, S.. 1999. Drizzlecombe, Eylesbarrow, Ditsworthy and Hartor areas in the Plym Valley, West Devon. Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England Report. A4 Comb Bound. 6-8.
SDV346274Personal Comment: Griffiths, D. M.. 1996. Ditsworthy Warren. Unknown.
SDV346275Un-published: Haynes, R. G.. Ditsworthy Warren. Typescript Notes in Plymouth City Library.
SDV346276National Monuments Record Database: National Monuments Record. 2011. 438818. National Monuments Record Database. Website.
SDV360381Report - Assessment: Whitbourn, A.. 2001. An Archaeological Investigation into features comprising, and associated with, Ditsworthy Warren. A4 Comb Bound. 10-92, Map 5.
SDV361688Article in Serial: Rendell, P.. 1989. Ditsworthy Warren. Dartmoor Magazine. 17. 65.

Associated Monuments

MDV122705Parent of: Annexe south-east of Ditsworthy Warren House, Sheepstor (Building)
MDV122706Parent of: Barn south of Ditsworthy Warren House, Sheepstor (Building)
MDV14635Parent of: Ditsworthy Clam Foot Bridge south-west of Ditsworthy Warren Farm (Monument)
MDV14635Related to: Ditsworthy Clam Foot Bridge south-west of Ditsworthy Warren Farm (Monument)
MDV76851Parent of: Ditsworthy Warren Farmstead, Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV14617Parent of: Ditsworthy Warren House, Sheepstor (Building)
MDV122707Parent of: Farm Building west of Ditsworthy Warren House, Sheepstor (Building)
MDV122709Parent of: Field System south Ditsworthy Warren Farmstead, Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV14618Parent of: Fragments of vermin traps, Ditsworthy Warren House (Monument)
MDV3391Parent of: Gutter Tor Medieval Deserted Settlement, Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV3391Related to: Gutter Tor Medieval Deserted Settlement, Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV122182Parent of: Kennels at Ditsworthy Warren Farmstead, Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV79273Parent of: Pair of pillow mounds, Ditsworthy Warren (Monument)
MDV79274Parent of: Pillow mound adjacent to Ditsworthy Warren House (Monument)
MDV79205Parent of: Pillow Mound in Ditsworthy Warren, sheepstor (Monument)
MDV29183Parent of: Pillow Mound in Ditsworthy Warren, Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV79207Parent of: Pillow Mound in Ditsworthy Warren, Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV79209Parent of: Pillow Mound in Ditsworthy Warren, Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV79210Parent of: Pillow Mound in Ditsworthy Warren, Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV79211Parent of: Pillow Mound in Ditsworthy Warren, Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV79212Parent of: Pillow Mound in Ditsworthy Warren, Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV79213Parent of: Pillow Mound in Ditsworthy Warren, Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV79214Parent of: Pillow Mound in Ditsworthy Warren, Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV79215Parent of: Pillow Mound in Ditsworthy Warren, Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV79217Parent of: Pillow Mound in Ditsworthy Warren, Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV79218Parent of: Pillow Mound in Ditsworthy Warren, Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV79220Parent of: Pillow Mound in Ditsworthy Warren, Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV79221Parent of: Pillow Mound in Ditsworthy Warren, Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV79281Parent of: Pillow Mound in Ditsworthy Warren, Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV3493Parent of: Pillow mound, Ditsworthy Warren (Monument)
MDV79222Parent of: Pillow mound, Ditsworthy Warren (Monument)
MDV79224Parent of: Pillow mound, Ditsworthy Warren (Monument)
MDV79225Parent of: Pillow mound, Ditsworthy Warren (Monument)
MDV79253Parent of: Pillow mound, Ditsworthy Warren (Monument)
MDV79254Parent of: Pillow mound, Ditsworthy Warren (Monument)
MDV79255Parent of: Pillow mound, Ditsworthy Warren (Monument)
MDV79256Parent of: Pillow mound, Ditsworthy Warren (Monument)
MDV79257Parent of: Pillow mound, Ditsworthy Warren (Monument)
MDV79258Parent of: Pillow mound, Ditsworthy Warren (Monument)
MDV79259Parent of: Pillow mound, Ditsworthy Warren (Monument)
MDV79261Parent of: Pillow mound, Ditsworthy Warren (Monument)
MDV79262Parent of: Pillow mound, Ditsworthy Warren (Monument)
MDV79263Parent of: Pillow mound, Ditsworthy Warren (Monument)
MDV79264Parent of: Pillow mound, Ditsworthy Warren (Monument)
MDV79265Parent of: Pillow mound, Ditsworthy Warren (Monument)
MDV79270Parent of: Pillow mound, Ditsworthy Warren (Monument)
MDV79271Parent of: Pillow mound, Ditsworthy Warren (Monument)
MDV79275Parent of: Pillow mound, Ditsworthy Warren (Monument)
MDV79277Parent of: Pillow mound, Ditsworthy Warren (Monument)
MDV79280Parent of: Pillow mound, Ditsworthy Warren (Monument)
MDV79282Parent of: Pillow mound, Ditsworthy Warren (Monument)
MDV79283Parent of: Pillow mound, Ditsworthy Warren (Monument)
MDV79285Parent of: Pillow mound, Ditsworthy Warren (Monument)
MDV79286Parent of: Pillow mound, Ditsworthy Warren (Monument)
MDV79287Parent of: Pillow mound, Ditsworthy Warren (Monument)
MDV79288Parent of: Pillow mound, Ditsworthy Warren (Monument)
MDV79272Parent of: Pillow Mound, Ditsworthy Warren, Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV3472Parent of: Pillow Mounds in Ditsworthy Warren, Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV122708Parent of: Possible Reservoir north-west of Ditsworthy Warren House, Sheepstor (Building)
MDV25283Parent of: Ridge and furrow in field west of Ditsworthy Warren House (Monument)
MDV25283Related to: Ridge and furrow in field west of Ditsworthy Warren House (Monument)
MDV122710Parent of: Small Enclosure north-east Ditsworthy Warren Farmstead, Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV3583Parent of: Three pillow mounds, Ditsworthy Warren (Monument)
MDV14628Parent of: Vermin trap, Ditsworthy Warren (Monument)
MDV14629Parent of: Vermin trap, Ditsworthy Warren (Monument)
MDV14630Parent of: Vermin trap, Ditsworthy Warren (Monument)
MDV3386Parent of: Vermin trap, Ditsworthy Warren (Monument)
MDV3387Parent of: Vermin trap, Ditsworthy Warren (Monument)
MDV3388Parent of: Vermin trap, Ditsworthy Warren (Monument)
MDV3389Parent of: Vermin trap, Ditsworthy Warren (Monument)
MDV3390Parent of: Vermin trap, Ditsworthy Warren (Monument)
MDV3392Parent of: Vermin trap, Ditsworthy Warren (Monument)
MDV3395Parent of: Vermin trap, Ditsworthy Warren (Monument)
MDV3396Parent of: Vermin trap, Ditsworthy Warren (Monument)
MDV3397Parent of: Vermin trap, Ditsworthy Warren (Monument)
MDV3398Parent of: Vermin trap, Ditsworthy Warren (Monument)
MDV14632Parent of: Vermin trap, Ditsworthy Warren, Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV14633Parent of: Vermin trap, Ditsworthy Warren, Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV14634Parent of: Vermin trap, Ditsworthy Warren, Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV14631Parent of: Vermin Trap, Ditsworthy Warren, Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV14637Parent of: Vermin Trap, Ditsworthy Warren, Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV14638Parent of: Vermin Trap, Ditsworthy Warren, Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV4027Related to: Cairn 265 meters north-west of Ditsworthy Warren House (Monument)
MDV14635Parent of: Ditsworthy Clam Foot Bridge south-west of Ditsworthy Warren Farm (Monument)
MDV14635Related to: Ditsworthy Clam Foot Bridge south-west of Ditsworthy Warren Farm (Monument)
MDV25285Related to: Extensive Streamworks on the River Plym, Shaugh Prior, Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV25267Related to: FIELD SYSTEM in the Parish of Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV25284Related to: Field system west of Ditsworthy Warren House (Monument)
MDV103555Related to: Fragments of Prehistoric Enclosures at Gutter Tor, Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV3391Parent of: Gutter Tor Medieval Deserted Settlement, Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV3391Related to: Gutter Tor Medieval Deserted Settlement, Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV3977Related to: Hut Circle in Prehistoric Settlement at Gutter Tor, Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV3978Related to: Hut Circle in Prehistoric Settlement at Gutter Tor, Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV122227Related to: Hut Circle within Prehistoric Settlement on Eastern Tor, Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV122228Related to: Hut Circle within Prehistoric Settlement on Eastern Tor, Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV122237Related to: Hut Circle within Prehistoric Settlement south-west of Gutter Tor, Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV122229Related to: Hut Circle within Prehistoric Settlement to the east of Eastern Tor, Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV122230Related to: Hut Circle within Prehistoric Settlement to the east of Eastern Tor, Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV122231Related to: Hut Circle within Prehistoric Settlement to the east of Eastern Tor, Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV122232Related to: Hut Circle within Prehistoric Settlement to the east of Eastern Tor, Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV122233Related to: Hut Circle within Prehistoric Settlement to the east of Eastern Tor, Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV122234Related to: Hut Circle within Prehistoric Settlement to the east of Eastern Tor, Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV122235Related to: Hut Circle within Prehistoric Settlement to the east of Eastern Tor, Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV122236Related to: Hut Circle within Prehistoric Settlement to the east of Eastern Tor, Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV25286Related to: Possible Prehistoric Enclosure, Ditsworthy Warren, Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV122269Related to: Prehistoric Hut Circle within an Enclosure at Gutter Tor, Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV4016Related to: Prehistoric Settlement on Eastern Tor, Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV3976Related to: Prehistoric Settlement south-west of Gutter Tor, Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV4023Related to: Prehistoric Settlement to the east of Eastern Tor, Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV3985Related to: Quern, Ditsworthy Warren (Find Spot)
MDV25283Parent of: Ridge and furrow in field west of Ditsworthy Warren House (Monument)
MDV25283Related to: Ridge and furrow in field west of Ditsworthy Warren House (Monument)
MDV22765Related to: TROUGH in the Parish of Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV3420Related to: VERMIN TRAP in the Parish of Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV102764Related to: Weir south-east of Ditsworthy Warren (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV4966 - Survey of Drizzlecombe, Eylesbarrow, Ditsworthy and Hartor
  • EDV7443 - Condition survey of archaeological sites in Ringmoor Training Area
  • EDV7551 - Ditsworthy Warren: An archaeological investigation
  • EDV7569 - Condition survey of Ringmoor Down training area

Date Last Edited:Aug 31 2018 3:54PM