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HER Number:MDV15038
Name:The Walkhampton Common Reave

Summary

The Bronze Age Walkhampton Common Reave extends from the clitter-covered slopes of Sharpitor, across open moorland to terminate on a south-facing slope at a terrace of a disused railway adjacent to a small Bronze Age unenclosed settlement. It extends for 3170m and although there are some irregularites it maintains a remarkably straight course with on major re-alignment on high ground. In places where it crosses a number of slight valleys it is completely engulfed by peat.
Reave separates the Meavy and Walkham Valleys with a remarkably straight central section, overgrown by peat. Unlike the other water-shed reaves this one is not aiming for a tor or skyline barrow. The reave can be traced from SX56007050 in the clitter of Sharpitor, to SX57847807 at a terrace of the disused Princetown to Yelverton railway line. The total distance is 3170 metres and although there are small irregularities it maintains remarkably straight courses with one re-alignment in the vicinity of an enclosure. Associated with stone alignments, huts and cairns.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 566 714
Map Sheet:SX57SE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishWalkhampton
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishWALKHAMPTON

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: 440291
  • National Monuments Record: SX57SE91
  • National Monuments Record: SX57SE93
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 440285
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX57SE/172
  • Old SAM Ref: 22270 (PART)
  • Pastscape: 440285

Monument Type(s) and Dates

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

Full description

Prowse, A. B., 1906, The Forest Bounds Near Princetown, 413 (Article in Serial). SDV250087.

An ancient trackway runs south-west by south towards the south side of Leedon Tor. Having passed through a large group of hut circles and pounds it turns more to the south and runs straight up to Sharper Tor. In the other direction the trackway points to Beardown clapper bridge where there are further remains of ancient trackway.

Royal Air Force, 1947, RAF/CPE/UK/2149, 4439 (Aerial Photograph). SDV282746.

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

Walkhampton Common Reave. It separates the Meavy and Walkham valleys with a remarkably straight central section, overgrown by peat. Unlike the other 'water-shed' reaves, this one is not aiming
for a tor or skyline barrow. It is a matter of opinion whether it can be traced north of the point where it hits the old railway track at SX 577731. If it did continue towards Two Bridges it would have divided the North Moor from the south at the only point where it is necessary.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1980, SX57SE116 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV235363.

(05/08/1980) The Walkhampton Common Reave can be traced from SX56007050 in the clitter of Sharpitor, to SX57837307 at a terrace of the disused Princetown to Yelverton railway line. The total distance is 3170 metres and although there are small irregularities it maintains remarkably straight courses with one re-alignment, on fairly high ground, at SX56407125.
There are a number of breaks resulting from robbing, marsh, etc., but none that seems an original feature. (For details see illustration plan).
Some relative chronology can be determined visually. The reave is later than the two stone rows (MDV4991 and MDV50223) which it crosses, but earlier than some settlements on its south-east side (MDV49055, MDV3726). The relationship of those that are isolated cannot be established. For example, the branch reave to Leeden Tor (MDV15037) is subsequent but runs between a number of large double walled huts (MDV14306). These could be earlier and in use, disused, or later than the reave.
There must be a continuance to the north-east beyond the railway where, unlike the coarse grass elsewhere, the surface vegetation is dense heather. This, compounded with peat growth, has concealed all traces.
Visible remains surveyed at 1:10 000 on M.S.D.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1980, SX57SE93 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV235358.

(02/08/1980) From SX55887031, in the clitter at Sharpitor, a reave extends for 330 metres to the south-west to SX55597003, following the ridge top at 333 metres O.D. It comprises a turf-covered bank of small stones, averaging 2.5 metres wide and 0.3 metres high. A continuation towards Peek Hill is traceable but as little more than a cropmark and minor fragments of bank as far as the enclosure and the Peak Hill parallel reaves (02/08/1980).

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

Visible on the aerial photographs and recorded on map overlay.

Gerrard, S., 1990-2002, Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset., MPP130811, -/-/1992 (Report - Survey). SDV277946.

The Walkhampton Common reave separates the Meavy and Walkham Valleys with a remarkably straight central section, overgrown by peat. Unlike the other water-shed reaves this one is not aiming for a tor or skyline barrow. The reave can be traced from SX56007050 in the clitter of Sharpitor, to SX57847807 at a terrace of the disused Princetown to Yelverton railway line. The total distance is 3170 metres and although there are small irregularities it maintains remarkably straight courses with one re-alignment in the vicinity of an enclosure.
A 380 metre length of the reave is protected by this proposal, other lengths forming parts of other monuments. Within the area of this monument the reave survives as a 3 metres wide stony bank standing up to 0.8 metres high. In places limited robbing of the reave bank for building stone has occurred and there are a number of small breaches caused by trackways passing through the boundary. At SX56157078 the reave passes a short distance east of the visible uprights of a stone alignment. Although, no longer visible it is likely that the stone alignment originally extended beyond the reave towards the second cairn and that the reave builders therefore partly robbed the stone alignment to make their boundary.
2070 metre length of the Walkhampton Common reave leading from the lower slopes of North Hessary Tor to a transverse reave on Leeden Tor. SX57837306 to SX56567143. Survives as a 3 metre wide stony bank 0.8 metres high. Short gaps occur where buried by peat accumulation.

Reed, S. J., 1994, Archaeological recording on the SWW Dousland to Rundlestone Water Main, 2 (Report - non-specific). SDV260127.

Remains of Walkhampton Common reave exposed in section of pipeline trench. At 0.46 metres below road surface was a layer of disturbed mixed soil and peat. This overlay an undisturbed peaty soil, which in turn lay above a grey sandy clay subsoil. The lower two contexts had developed around the stone core of the reave. The matrix between the stones was a very sandy peaty loam. The core was 1.5 metres wide and exposed for a height of 0.5 metres, but neither the base of the reave nor bedrock were exposed in the trench which was excavated to a depth of 1.2 metres.

Butler, J., 1994, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Three - The South-West, Map 45 (Monograph). SDV137656.

Reave is depicted on Butler's map.

Fletcher, M. J., 2007-2008, Walkhampton Premier Archaeological Landscape; Field Investigation Project (Report - Survey). SDV359195.

(26/06/2007) This impressive stone and slab reave is very well defined along its course with only short lengths that cross the slight depressions completely engulfed by peat. There is no surface evidence to suggest that it ever extended beyond the open moorland hillside at its northern end. Surveyed at 1:2500.
[440291; SX57SE93] This impressive reave, constructed of stone of various sizes wiith some upright slabs, is well defined as it crosses moorland grassland with some bracken. Surveyed at 1:2500 scale.

Ordnance Survey, 2016, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV359352.

'Boundary Work' is depicted on the modern mapping.

Historic England, 2016, National Heritage List for England, Accessed 22/08/2016 (National Heritage List for England). SDV359353.

This monument includes two lengths of reave, two stone hut circles, a round cairn and stone alignment situated on Walkhampton Common.
The various components of this monument are all thought to be of Bronze Age date, but the stone hut circles, cairn and stone alignment are all earlier than the reaves. The Walkhampton Common reave separates the Meavy and Walkham valleys with a remarkably straight central section overgrown in places by peat. Unlike the other watershed reaves this one is not aligned on a tor or skyline barrow. The reave can be traced from SX 56007050 in the clitter of Sharpitor to SX 57837306 at a terrace of the disused Princetown to Yelverton railway line. A 2070m length of this reave is included within this monument, other lengths forming parts of other monuments. Within the area of this monument, the reave survives as a 3m wide stony bank standing up to 0.8m high. Apparent short gaps in the reave occur where dense peat accumulation has buried the bank.
The second reave includes a 302m length of boundary bank extending at right angles from the Walkhampton Common reave to the clitter on the south side of Leeden Tor. This reave survives as a 0.6m high, prominent rubble and boulder bank with an average width of 2.8m. In places along its length are several small cairns with an average diameter of 4m standing up to 0.5m high. This reave is a transverse boundary, which would have originally connected the Walkhampton Common reave to the Great Western Reave and would have sub-divided open pasture land.
The stone alignment is 132m long and includes a single row of 16 stones. The stones stand between 0.2m and 0.7m high and are spaced at regular intervals of about 13m. The Walkhampton Common reave cuts across this alignment and is therefore of a more recent date. Stone hut circles and enclosures survive within close proximity to this monument (see designation record for full detail).

Various, 2018-2020, PALs Condition Recording forms (Worksheet). SDV362781.

(20/04/2019) Section at SX 56577 71451 recorded. Condition of reave assessed by volunteer recorder as poor. Gorse & molinia. 2m north there is bad water/ livestock erosion which could become a problem. Photos X 3 taken

Various, 2018-2020, PALs Condition Recording forms, WLK-55 (Worksheet). SDV362781.

(14/06/2019) Section at SX 5610 7066 recorded. Condition assessed by volunteer recorder as very good; no damage agents affecting site. The Dartmoor Preservation Association regularly visit this site, clearing bracken cover. Cattle, sheep and ponies are free to roam over this ground, but appear to be causing little visible damage.

Various, 2018-2020, PALs Condition Recording photographs (Photograph). SDV363073.

Visited 20/04/2019. Photos X 3 taken

Various, 2018-2020, PALs Condition Recording photographs (Photograph). SDV363073.

Site photographed during June 2019 site visit.

Sources / Further Reading

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 45.
SDV235265Article in Serial: Fleming, A.. 1978. The Prehistoric Landscape of Dartmoor. Part 1: South Dartmoor. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society. 44. Unknown. 97-123.
SDV235358Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1980. SX57SE93. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Unknown.
SDV235363Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1980. SX57SE116. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Unknown.
SDV250087Article in Serial: Prowse, A. B.. 1906. The Forest Bounds Near Princetown. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 38. 413.
SDV260127Report - non-specific: Reed, S. J.. 1994. Archaeological recording on the SWW Dousland to Rundlestone Water Main. Exeter Museums Archaeological Field Unit HER Entry. 94.40. A4 Stapled. 2.
SDV277946Report - Survey: Gerrard, S.. 1990-2002. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Mixed Archive Material + Digital. MPP130811, -/-/1992.
SDV282746Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1947. RAF/CPE/UK/2149. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 4439.
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.
SDV359195Report - Survey: Fletcher, M. J.. 2007-2008. Walkhampton Premier Archaeological Landscape; Field Investigation Project. English Heritage. Unknown.
SDV359352Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2016. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #81420 ]
SDV359353National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2016. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital. Accessed 22/08/2016.
SDV362781Worksheet: Various. 2018-2020. PALs Condition Recording forms. PALs Condition Assessment Project Forms. Digital.
SDV363073Photograph: Various. 2018-2020. PALs Condition Recording photographs. PALs Condition Assessment Project Forms. Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV19962Related to: Enclosure on east side of Walkhampton reave to the south-east of Leeden Tor, Walkhampton (Monument)
MDV14306Related to: Hut circle settlement east of Leeden Tor, Walkhampton (Monument)
MDV15037Related to: Leeden Tor cross reave, Walkhampton (Monument)
MDV48484Related to: Military building within enclosure east of the Walkhampton Common reave, Walkhampton (Building)
MDV15033Related to: Part of the Great Western Reave, Walkhampton and Dartmoor Forest (Monument)
MDV3726Related to: Possible hut circle in settlement on the south-east slope of Leeden Tor, Walkhampton (Monument)
MDV29973Related to: Reaves on Peek Hill, Walkhampton (Monument)
MDV28489Related to: Rectiliniar enclosure near Peek Hill, Walkhampton (Monument)
MDV14309Related to: Round cairn on Walkhampton Common lying east of the reave (Monument)
MDV19960Related to: Section of the Leather Tor Reave on Walkhampton Common (Monument)
MDV49785Related to: Small hut L in settlement 1180 metres south of North Hessary Tor (Monument)
MDV4991Related to: Stone row 450 metres north of Sharpitor (Monument)
MDV50223Related to: Stone row south-east of Leeden Tor, Walkhampton Common (Monument)
MDV49055Related to: Unenclosed hut circle settlement, Walkhampton Common (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV7517 - Survey of Hart Tor tin works
  • EDV8351 - Walkhampton Premier Archaeological Landscape; Field Investigation Project

Date Last Edited:Oct 11 2021 9:20AM