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HER Number:MDV14156
Name:RABBIT WARREN in the Parish of Dartmoor Forest


22 pillow mounds situated on a moderate WSW slope in the vicinity of Wistman's Wood, above the West Dart River at centre SX 613773.


Grid Reference:SX 612 775
Map Sheet:SX67NW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishDartmoor Forest
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishLYDFORD

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX67NW72
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 442721
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX67NW/117
  • Old SAM County Ref: 922 (PART)
  • Old SAM Ref: 34454

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • RABBIT WARREN (Constructed, Early Medieval to XIX - 1066 AD (Between) to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

Untitled Source (Aerial Photograph). SDV254251.

Aph=raf 58/4424. F41.127/25 may 1961.

Untitled Source (Aerial Photograph). SDV254252.


Untitled Source (Aerial Photograph). SDV254253.

Aph=cuc/rc8-eq 152-4(27/7/1982)/at ncc taunton.

Untitled Source (Aerial Photograph). SDV254254.

Aph=nmr sx6176/1/37-41(12/4/1969).

Untitled Source (Aerial Photograph). SDV254255.

Aph=nmr sf1509/278-284(24/4/1979).

Linehan, C. D., 1966, Deserted Sites and Rabbit-Warrens on Dartmoor, Devon, table 2 (Article in Serial). SDV307246.

Rabbit warren containing 12 pillow mounds at Wistman's Wood.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1978, SX67NW72 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV254256.

(05/09/1978) Over an area of 450.0m x 150.0m, centred at SX 613773, are 17 pillow-mounds of normal shape with shallow side ditches but with their long axes parallel to the slope. Their average length is 11.0m. average width 3.5m. and average height 0.7m, Centred at SX 61557705 are two banks, parallel to the slope and ditched, 108.5m. and 57.5m. in length respectively, which are probably extremely long pillow-mounds, though their width (3.0m. and 2.5m. respectively) is less than that of the pillow-mounds lower down the slope.
In addition to these sixteen, there are eight other probable pillow-mounds in the area as follows:-
Centred at SX 61377710, four small, irregular to circular-shape mounds of average diameter 8.0m.
At SX 61247787 is a mound measuring 5.5m x 4.5m, revetted on the west side. All these are about 1.0m. high and are probably built upon hut circles.
Centred at SX 61527790 are three mounds on the west side of Long Tor, with average dimensions 10.0m. x 5.5m, and 0.7m. high with side ditches.
Surveyed at 1:10 000 on P.F.D.

Hemery, E., 1983, High Dartmoor, 455-6 (Monograph). SDV249702.

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

Assuming that all the pillow mounds at Wistman's Wood are part of this warren there are 15 mounds interspersed with hut circles and enclosures of SX67NW/63 and SX67NW/91. Some of the more southern pillow mounds fall within the scheduled area 922. Visible on 1969 and 1979 NMR aerial photographs.

Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England, 1987-1993, Duchy Farms Project Survey Visit, P. Pattison (Report - Survey). SDV350839.

(05/05/1989) 22 pillow mounds situated on a moderate WSW slope in the vicinity of Wistman's Wood , above the West Dart River at centre SX 613773.
All the mounds are rectangular in ground plan with straightish or slightly rounded ends. All have a long axis cutting the contours (not parallel to the slope as stated by 1978 OS card) giving an ENE-WSW for the majority: mound 1 runs NE-SW, following the different alignment of the slope in that locality. All are flat-topped with short sharp sides and generally have shallow flanking ditches. They fall into three distinct types with clear special groupings:
Type 1. Scattered between Longaford Tor, a warreners house (see SX 67 NW 96) and the West Dart are six mounds in a group of three beneath the Tor 4, 5 and 6 two c 100m NE of the warren house and one isolated c 350m to the NW of the house. They average 14.3m long by 5.4m wide by 0.8m high and are built of earth and stone; two with clear remnants of stone edging or revetment 4 and 6. Their ditches are broad and shallow, probably reflecting scraping-up of surface material to make the mound; several have very large stones which obviously were too large to move or utilize. The downhill ends are not ditched.
Type 2. Fourteen from a linear group running N to S at centre SX 613773, immediately E of Wistman's Wood and S of the warreners house. They are smaller than type 1, averaging 11.35m long by 3.25m wide by 0.6m high and are apparently built largely of earth with only occasional stones incorporated (although it is not known what lies under the mounds). The flanking ditches are slighter and do not envelop the uphill end; generally they turn in to terminate flush with the uphill mound end. Several have traces of a narrow gully running centrally down the long axis of the mound top, this is often only just visible, c 0.3m wide by 0.1m deep.
Type 3. Two extremely long mounds 54 and 107m respectively, situated on the W side of Littaford Tors. These are narrowest of all at 2.5-3m and average 0.7m high. Construction is of earth and stone, often with large stones placed deliberately along the basal edges. Large, natural boulders are occasionally incorporated into the mound or interrupt the slight flanking ditches where the effort needed to remove them was both too great and pointless. Mound 21 terminates on the W against a large, natural outcrop. Contrary to Royal Commission APP (1985) interpretation, these mounds are not military targets.
Only mound 1 was missed by the OS (1978). Mounds 1-6 are not shown by RCHME APP (1985); the remainder are. The majority of the mounds are visible on additional AP's. These pillow mounds are associated generally with a sporting warren set up in 1895 on behalf of James Saltroun of Powder Mills and ceasing operations prior to the First World War.
See 1:2500 plan of site.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV249702Monograph: Hemery, E.. 1983. High Dartmoor. High Dartmoor. Hardback Volume. 455-6.
SDV254251Aerial Photograph:
SDV254252Aerial Photograph:
SDV254253Aerial Photograph:
SDV254254Aerial Photograph:
SDV254255Aerial Photograph:
SDV254256Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1978. SX67NW72. 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. table 2.
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.
SDV350839Report - Survey: Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England. 1987-1993. Duchy Farms Project Survey Visit. Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England Archaeological Survey. Unknown. P. Pattison. [Mapped feature: #135917 ]

Associated Monuments

MDV27262Parent of: Two very long pillow mounds, Logaford Warren (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV8644 - Cherrybrook and Longford Newtake, Duchy Farms Survey
  • EDV8409 - Dartmoor Royal Forest Project
  • EDV8423 - Duchy Farms Project

Date Last Edited:Mar 7 2022 4:20PM