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HER Number:MDV14369
Name:Medieval field system at Trowlesworthy Warren Farm, Shaugh Prior

Summary

A field system of probable medieval origin is visible on aerial photographs of 1946 onwards, digital images derived from aerial photographs of 2002 onwards and visualisations derived from lidar data captured between 1998 and 2017, as curvilinear stony banks on the west-facing slopes surrounding Trowlesworthy Warren Farm. The medieval field system incorporates several hut circle enclosures of probable prehistoric date.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 568 646
Map Sheet:SX56SE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishShaugh Prior
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishSHAUGH PRIOR

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX56SE241
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 1360637
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX56SE/198/2

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • FIELD SYSTEM (Early Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD to 1750 AD (Between))

Full description

Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/3G/TUD/UK/223, RAF/3G/TUD/UK/223 Vp2 5142-5143 12-JUL-1946 (Aerial Photograph). SDV352279.

Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/CPE/UK/1890, Devon County Council RAF/CPE/UK/1890 4290-4291 10-DEC-1946 (Aerial Photograph). SDV169268.

Curvilinear banks are visible as earthworks.

Royal Air Force, 1964, RAF/58/6399, RAF/58/6399 F64 0384-0385 02-JUL-1964 (Aerial Photograph). SDV363068.

Curvilinear banks are visible as earthworks.

Haynes, R. G., 1966-1969, Ruined Sites on Dartmoor, 142, 143 (Un-published). SDV150434.

Haynes, R. G., 1970, Vermin Traps and Rabbit Warrens on Dartmoor, 157 (Article in Serial). SDV166302.

Fields in the vicinity of Trowlesworthy Warren House, only 3 appear to have belonged to the original warren, the remainder being added later, some as late as the First World War.

NMR, 1976, NMR 926, NMR 926/13-15 08-APR-1976 (Aerial Photograph). SDV363393.

Curvilinear banks are visible as earthworks.

NMR, 1976, SX5664/1 (National Monuments Record Database). SDV150480.

West Air Photography, 1976, WAP 19073, WAP 19073/6 01-JAN-1976 (CA 1890) (Aerial Photograph). SDV363394.

Curvilinear banks are visible as earthworks.

Price, D. G., 1977, Settlement at Trowlesworthy Warren, 48 (Article in Serial). SDV150433.

Hemery, E., 1983, High Dartmoor, 209 (Monograph). SDV249702.

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

Visible and recorded.

National Trust and English Heritage, 1994, The Upper Plym Valley: The Management of an Historic Landscape, 44 (Report - non-specific). SDV166309.

Environment Agency, 1998-2017, LiDAR DTM data (1m resolution) EA: South Devon Coast to Dartmoor, LIDAR SX5664 Environment Agency DTM 01-JAN-1998 to 31-MAY-2017 (Cartographic). SDV361470.

Curvilinear banks are identifiable as earthworks.

Bluesky International Ltd/Getmapping PLC, 1999-2017, Pan Government Agreement Aerial Photographs, Next Perspectives APGB Imagery SX5664 03-MAY-2007 (Aerial Photograph). SDV363087.

Curvilinear banks are visible as earthworks.

Probert, S. A. J. + Fletcher, M. J., 2002, Plym Valley survey (Report - Survey). SDV350782.

(20/05/2002) Centred SX 57076479. Two phases of abandoned field system enclose the current fields of Trowlesworthy Farm.
The earliest, and smallest, of the two occupies the plateau immediately to the N of the current holding and an area adjacent to the fields SE of the farmhouse. The system is bounded by a well-defined cornditch up to 2.0m wide and 0.8m high which runs SE from the Plym opposite its confluence with Legis Lake to a point 550m directly W of Little Trowlesworthy Tor. From here it turns SW for 250m before swinging NE to rejoin the presently occupied enclosures. Including the latter this early system covers an area of 22ha. The abandoned field SE of the farmhouse follow a relatively organised pattern of curvilinear banks and ditches running from the cornditch to join the modern fields which seemingly fossilise an earlier pattern beneath. The pattern on the plateau to the N is much less regular due to the presence of several prehistoric enclosures all of which have been incorporated into this phase of activity.
Within the cornditch the land has largely been cleared of stone with much of the debris being dumped on the more substantial prehistoric features.
It is difficult to date this phase of activity though it might not be unreasonable to suggest that it could be related to the initial creation and consolidation of the farm in the 13th century.
A second phase of enclosure is demonstrated by the expansion of this early system to incorporate the Lee Moor China Clay Works Leat as its E boundary. New banks and walls were created S and E from the early system and SE from a point higher up the Plym to link with the leat. The additional area does not seem to have been subdivided and probably served as pasture for the farm. The time of this expansion obviously followed the construction of the leat which is believed to have been around the middle of the 19th century (Hemery 1983). Whilst robustly constructed it seems that this phase was rather short lived as one of the banks was later rebuilt as a pillow mound.

Berry, N., 2003, Trowlesworthy Warren Farm: Archaeological Survey and Assessment of the Field Boundaries, 2-22 (Report - Survey). SDV320483.

In a survey of field boundaries at 'Trowlesworthy Warren Farm', in 2003, some boundaries to the north of the farm were found to be of medieval origin, and some respected prehistoric features in the landscape. Other details: Map Section.

Hegarty, C., Knight, S. and Sims, R., 2019-2020, The South Devon Coast to Dartmoor Aerial Investigation and Mapping Survey. Area 2, Avon Valley to Plymouth (AI&M, formerly NMP) (Interpretation). SDV362982.

Curvilinear stony banks are visible as earthworks on aerial photographs of 1946 onwards, digital images derived from aerial photographs of 2002 onwards and visualisations derived from lidar data captured between 1998 and 2017, defining roughly rectilinear plots on the south-west facing slopes of Trowlesworthy Warren, surrounding Trowlesworthy Warren Farm, Shaugh Prior.
A few of the visible earthworks correspond in part with field boundaries depicted on the Tithe Map for Shaugh Prior to the south of the farmstead. A greater number correspond with boundaries depicted on the Ordnance Survey First Edition 25inch map, to the north-west and east of the farmstead.
The curvilinear earthworks are interpreted as the remains of field boundaries defining a field system of probable medieval origin. The field system plan incorporated the remains of several hut circle enclosures of probable Bronze Age to Iron Age date. Further field investigation is needed to define relationship between the medieval and prehistoric earthworks.
The small extent of the field system depicted on the Tithe Map might support the interpretation that the settlement at Trowlesworthy reduced or contracted in size from the later medieval or post-medieval period to the early 19th century. This might reflect the increasing dominance of warrening in the area, as evidenced by at least 12 rabbit buries or pillow mounds recorded throughout the field system, some of which appear to have been created by enlarging or enhancing extant boundaries (see MDV127051 and MDV52677)
Some of the fields were probably brought back into use in later 19th century. Almost 0.5ha of narrow ridge and furrow is visible within the field system at circa SX567649, which might be evidence of 19th century agricultural improvement.
A number of field boundaries had previously been recorded individually. The south eastern extent of the field system fell outside of the survey area.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV150433Article in Serial: Price, D. G.. 1977. Settlement at Trowlesworthy Warren. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 109. 48.
SDV150434Un-published: Haynes, R. G.. 1966-1969. Ruined Sites on Dartmoor. Ruined Sites on Dartmoor. Manuscript + Digital. 142, 143.
SDV150480National Monuments Record Database: NMR. 1976. SX5664/1. NMR Index. Card Index.
SDV166302Article in Serial: Haynes, R. G.. 1970. Vermin Traps and Rabbit Warrens on Dartmoor. Post-Medieval Archaeology. 4. A4 Bound + digital. 157.
SDV166309Report - non-specific: National Trust and English Heritage. 1994. The Upper Plym Valley: The Management of an Historic Landscape. National Trust Archaeological Survey Report. 102.130. A4 Comb Bound. 44.
SDV169268Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/CPE/UK/1890. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). Devon County Council RAF/CPE/UK/1890 4290-4291 10-DEC-1946.
SDV249702Monograph: Hemery, E.. 1983. High Dartmoor. High Dartmoor. Hardback Volume. 209.
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.
SDV320483Report - Survey: Berry, N.. 2003. Trowlesworthy Warren Farm: Archaeological Survey and Assessment of the Field Boundaries. National Trust Archaeological Survey Report. A4 Stapled + Digital. 2-22.
SDV350782Report - Survey: Probert, S. A. J. + Fletcher, M. J.. 2002. Plym Valley survey. English Heritage Archaeological Investigation Report. Unknown.
SDV352279Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/3G/TUD/UK/223. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). RAF/3G/TUD/UK/223 Vp2 5142-5143 12-JUL-1946.
SDV361470Cartographic: Environment Agency. 1998-2017. LiDAR DTM data (1m resolution) EA: South Devon Coast to Dartmoor. Environment Agency LiDAR data. Digital. LIDAR SX5664 Environment Agency DTM 01-JAN-1998 to 31-MAY-2017. [Mapped feature: #123243 ]
SDV362982Interpretation: Hegarty, C., Knight, S. and Sims, R.. 2019-2020. The South Devon Coast to Dartmoor Aerial Investigation and Mapping Survey. Area 2, Avon Valley to Plymouth (AI&M, formerly NMP). Historic England Research Report. Digital.
SDV363068Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1964. RAF/58/6399. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). RAF/58/6399 F64 0384-0385 02-JUL-1964.
SDV363087Aerial Photograph: Bluesky International Ltd/Getmapping PLC. 1999-2017. Pan Government Agreement Aerial Photographs. Aerial Photography for Great Britain Aerial Photographs. Digital. Next Perspectives APGB Imagery SX5664 03-MAY-2007.

Associated Monuments

MDV52670Parent of: Field Boundary east of Trowlesworthy Warren Farmstead, Shaugh Prior (Monument)
MDV70971Parent of: Field north-west of Trowlesworthy Warren Farm, Shaugh Prior (Monument)
MDV70972Parent of: Field with Medieval origins north-west of Trowlesworthy Warren Farm, Shaugh Prior (Monument)
MDV61238Parent of: Former Field Boundary in west side of Field to west of Trowlesworthy Warren Farmstead, Shaugh Prior (Monument)
MDV52667Parent of: Former Field Boundary south-east of Trowlesworthy Warren Farmstead, Shaugh Prior (Monument)
MDV52645Related to: Ditch, Trowlesworthy Warren (Monument)
MDV126275Related to: Enclosure north-west of Trowlesworthy Farm, Shaugh Prior (Monument)
MDV126325Related to: Enclosure north-west of Trowlesworthy Warren House, Shaugh Prior (Monument)
MDV127064Related to: Enclosure with huts north of Trowlesworthy Farm, Shaugh Prior (Monument)
MDV2466Related to: Enclosure with huts north-west of Trowlesworthy Warren House, Shaugh Prior (Monument)
MDV131074Related to: Prehistoric settlement between Shadyback Tor and Trowlesworthy Farm, Shaugh Prior (Monument)
MDV14148Related to: Trowlesworthy Warren, Shaugh Prior (Monument)
MDV56827Related to: Vermin trap or field boundary ditch within Trowlesworthy Warren, Shaugh Prior (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV687 - Unnamed Event
  • EDV7369 - Survey of Granite Loading Bays at Trowlesworthy, Devon
  • EDV8148 - The Upper Plym Valley: The Management of an Historic Landscape
  • EDV8155 - Plym Valley Survey: EH Project (Feb 2001 - Dec 2002)
  • EDV8098 - The South Devon Coast to Dartmoor Aerial Investigation and Mapping (formerly NMP) Survey, Area 2, Avon Valley to Plymouth (Ref: ACD2040)
  • EDV8396 - Watching brief during installation of electricity main to Trowlesworthy Warren Farm (Ref: 9468)

Date Last Edited:Sep 7 2021 12:20PM