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HER Number:MDV15022
Name:Prehistoric Parallel Reave System on Ridding Down

Summary

The remains of a prehistoric parallel reave system are identifiable from field and aerial survey as roughly parallel earthwork banks crossing the saddle of unenclosed land on Ridding Down on a north-east to south-west alignment. The earthworks are clearly visible on aerial photographs of 1965 and visualisations derived from lidar data captured in 2013.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 580 609
Map Sheet:SX56SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishCornwood
Civil ParishSparkwell
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishCORNWOOD
Ecclesiastical ParishPLYMPTON ST.MARY

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: 439444
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX56SE/232/1
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SX56SE119

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • PARALLEL REAVE SYSTEM (Bronze Age - 2200 BC to 701 BC (Between))

Full description

Ordnance Survey, 1880-1899, First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map (Cartographic). SDV336179.

The parallel reave system is probably fossilised into the medieval field pattern at the former Broomage Farm.

Royal Air Force, 1951, RAF/540/483, RAF/106G/UK/1190 RS 4253-4254 27-FEB-1946 (Aerial Photograph). SDV352103.

Linear and curvilinaer boundaries are visible as earthworks.

Royal Air Force, 1964, RAF/58/6399, RAF/58/6399 F66 0383-0385 02-JUL-1964 (Aerial Photograph). SDV363068.

Linear and curvilinaer boundaries are visible as earthworks.

Ordnance Survey, 1969, OS/69296, OS/69296 V 008-009 29-JUN-1969 (Aerial Photograph). SDV361475.

Linear and curvilinaer boundaries are visible as earthworks.

Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England, 1978, NMR 1247, NMR 1247/200 31-MAY-1978 (Aerial Photograph). SDV363091.

Linear and curvilinaer boundaries are visible as earthworks.

Fleming, A., 1978, The Prehistoric Landscape of Dartmoor. Part 1: South Dartmoor, 97-123 (Article in Serial). SDV235265.

Parallel system of reaves running south-west from the Ridding Down terminal reave which runs parallel to the Tolchmoor Gate to Quick Bride road.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1979 - 1980, SX56SE119 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV343519.

Site visited on 25th September 1980 when no parallel reave system could be clearly identified on Ridding Down. A low earth bank was identified between SX58136144 and SX57956108 which was 1.5 metres wide by 0.4 metres high with a shallow ditch on each side.

Gilbertson, D. + Collis, J., 1982, Mapping Three Millennia of Settlement and Land Use on Crownhill Down, South West Dartmoor (Article in Serial). SDV362901.

Prehistoric Field System 1.

Gilbertson, D. + Collis, J., 1985, Linear Banks on Crownhill Down, Dartmoor (Article in Serial). SDV337244.

Prehistoric Field System 1.

Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, 1985, SX56SE (Cartographic). SDV336987.

Visible and recorded on the 1985 interpretation.

National Monuments Record, 2002, 439444 (National Monuments Record Database). SDV343520.

Remains of a Prehistoric reave system occupying the high ground of Ridding Down in an area of unenclosed moorland which has been extensively disturbed by agricultural activity. The spine of the system extends from the road at SX58156152 to SX57946100. This 60 metre long linear bank almost certainly extended further south but its course has been lost in the Post Medieval field pattern around the former Broomage Farm. Extending west from this spine are a number of stoney banks with some containing large stones and irregularly spaced boulders noteably at SX57956155 and SX57886137. The vestigal remains of a parallel reave system extend from the east side at SX57996105. A well defined terminal reave marks the northern end of of parallel strip fields which extends southwards over the highest ground of Ridding Down onto the agricultural ground on the south-west facing slope. Only small lengths of this system survive and much that does remain is fossilised in the stone walls and earthen banks of the Medieval and Post Medieval field patterns.

Fletcher, M., 2002, The Archaeological Landscape of Crownhill Down and Ridding Down: Survey Report, 4 (Report - Survey). SDV343412.

A number of well defined reaves and parallel field patterns are laid out in a systematic way on Ridding Down mostly on a north-east to south-west orientation. Other details: Figure 3 and Crownhill Down Survey.

Farnell, A. J., 2009, Archaeological Evaluation and Recording on the Line of the the Lee Moor (Ridding Down) China Clay Pipeline, Cornwood, Ivybridge, Devon, 1, 6 (Report - Evaluation). SDV347433.

Archaeological evaluation and recording was undertaken along the route of a new pipeline between Headon China Clay Works and the Lee Moor operational area to the north-west. The route crossed an area of known archaeological sensitivity, with surviving remains and deposits from the prehistoric to the post-medieval periods, including elements of a Bronze Age reave system. However, no boundaries that could be identified as prehisoric reaves were located during the investigations. The prehistoric period was represented by two pits, which are of probable Middle Bronze Age date. The presence of charcoal lenses within their fills suggests deliberate backfilling, possibly with hearth waste. The marked similarity in the form and backfill of these pits suggests that they had a common function and were broadly contemporaneous. Other details: Figures 2-3, 9.

NERC, 2013, LiDAR DTM data (1m resolution) Tellus: South Devon to Dartmoor, LIDAR SX5760-SX5860, SX5761-SX5861 Tellus DTM 01-JUL-2013 to 31-AUG-2013 (Cartographic). SDV361514.

Linear and curvilinaer boundaries are visible as earthworks.

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 banks 3 to 6m wide are visible as earthwork on aerial photographs of 1946 onwards and visualisations derived from lidar data captured in 2013 crossing the saddle of unenclosed land on Ridding Down on a north-east to south-west alignment.
The earthworks are aligned on a north-east to south-west aligned bank, in places possibly a double bank incorporating a later boundary, visible for circa 540m from SX58156151 to SX57956101.
As described by the above authority, curvilinear banks are visible to west of this bank, probably a spinal reave, notably at SX57956155 and SX57886137. However, these are probably medieval in date and are recorded separately (MDV126777).
Also described above, the remains of a parallel reave system extend from the south-east side of the spinal bank at circa SX57996105. This has been previously interpreted as marked on its northern edge by a well-defined terminal reave (from circa SX5800 to SX 58286105).
However, it is possible that this roughly west-east bank marks the northern edge of the incorporation of the Ridding Down reaves into a medieval field pattern, as seen in the fossilised reave system recorded by maps of the 19th-century onwards, around the former site of Broomage Farm (see MDV80269).

Sources / Further Reading

SDV235265Article in Serial: Fleming, A.. 1978. The Prehistoric Landscape of Dartmoor. Part 1: South Dartmoor. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society. 44. Unknown. 97-123.
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV336987Cartographic: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. 1985. SX56SE. Air Photographs Unit. Map (Paper).
SDV337244Article in Serial: Gilbertson, D. + Collis, J.. 1985. Linear Banks on Crownhill Down, Dartmoor. Landscape History. 7. Unknown.
SDV343412Report - Survey: Fletcher, M.. 2002. The Archaeological Landscape of Crownhill Down and Ridding Down: Survey Report. English Heritage Report. AI/31/2002. A4 Stapled + Digital. 4.
SDV343519Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1979 - 1980. SX56SE119. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV343520National Monuments Record Database: National Monuments Record. 2002. 439444. National Monuments Record Index. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV347433Report - Evaluation: Farnell, A. J.. 2009. Archaeological Evaluation and Recording on the Line of the the Lee Moor (Ridding Down) China Clay Pipeline, Cornwood, Ivybridge, Devon. Exeter Archaeology Report. 09.112. A4 stapled + Digital. 1, 6.
SDV352103Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1951. RAF/540/483. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). RAF/106G/UK/1190 RS 4253-4254 27-FEB-1946.
SDV361475Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1969. OS/69296. Ordnance Survey. Photograph (Paper). OS/69296 V 008-009 29-JUN-1969.
SDV361514Cartographic: NERC. 2013. LiDAR DTM data (1m resolution) Tellus: South Devon to Dartmoor. Digital. LIDAR SX5760-SX5860, SX5761-SX5861 Tellus DTM 01-JUL-2013 to 31-AUG-2013. [Mapped feature: #122591 ]
SDV362901Article in Serial: Gilbertson, D. + Collis, J.. 1982. Mapping Three Millennia of Settlement and Land Use on Crownhill Down, South West Dartmoor. Field Studies. 5. Digital.
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 F66 0383-0385 02-JUL-1964.
SDV363091Aerial Photograph: Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England. 1978. NMR 1247. NMR Aerial Photograph. NMR 1247/200 31-MAY-1978.

Associated Monuments

MDV69354Related to: Broomage Farmstead on Crownhill Down (Monument)
MDV43447Related to: Enclosure on Ridding Down (Monument)
MDV80269Related to: Medieval Field System, Broomage Farm (Monument)
MDV29981Related to: Post Medieval Field System on Ridding Down (Monument)
MDV12788Related to: Prehistoric Hut Circle in Broomage Wood (Monument)
MDV12789Related to: Prehistoric Hut Circle in Broomage Wood (Monument)
MDV15021Related to: Prehistoric Terminal Reave on Ridding Down (Monument)
MDV80274Related to: Two Prehistoric Pits West of Broomage Wood (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV4559 - Archaeological Landscape of Crownhill Down and Riddding Down
  • EDV5108 - Archaeological Evaluation and Recording on the Line of the Lee Moor Pipeline
  • EDV8098 - The South Devon Coast to Dartmoor Aerial Investigation and Mapping (formerly NMP) Survey, Area 2, Avon Valley to Plymouth (Ref: ACD2040)

Date Last Edited:Oct 31 2019 11:47AM