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HER Number:MDV15065
Name:The 'Bullaven Reave', Harford


Bullaven Reave - highly doubtful single reave. Probably post-Mediaeval clearance for a new intake.


Grid Reference:SX 648 600
Map Sheet:SX66SW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishHarford
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishHARFORD

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Earthwork remains of a Prehistoric to Medieval field system east of Harford with earthwork remains of at least two prehistoric enclosures and the Bronze Age Bullaven Reave

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX65NW33
  • National Monuments Record: SX65NW33
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 441304
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX65NW/100
  • Pastscape: 441304

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • (Former Type) REAVE (Bronze Age - 2200 BC (Between) to 701 BC (Between))
  • EARTHWORK (Post Medieval - 1540 AD (Between) to 1750 AD (Between))

Full description

Royal Air Force, 1946 - 1949, Royal Air Force Aerial Photographs, 1890 1218-9 (Aerial Photograph). SDV342938.

Photograph taken on 10th December 1946.

Hankin, C. F., 1977-1980, Harford Parish Checklist (Worksheet). SDV149931.

Visited in 1976 and on 23rd May 1977. Reave on the south-west slope of Lower Piles, north-east of Harford Moor-gate. A low earth and stone bank with the characteristics of a reave. Its north-east end is amongst broken ground strewn with granite stones. The bank is circa 2.3 metres wide, quite low, and most clearly seen when viewed from the east looking down the slope of the hill. At first from the north-east the reave follows the direction 248 degrees, but after circa 26 metres it curves towards the west until at circa 110 metres from its beginning it reaches a cairn at circa SX65056010. Below the cairn the reave takes a still more westerly direction, curving from 256 degrees to 260 degrees. The ground here has been well cleared of stones, the grass is short, and the reave becomes no more than a series of isolated hummocks, until at about 290 metres from the cairn it fades out altogether. Total length circa 400 metres, width circa 2.3 metres, height less than 0.50 metres.

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

Centred at SX 647600. 'Bullaven Reave', an unfinished single reave, emerges from a wall corner at SX 543598 and runs north-east to about SX 651604. Much of it consists of detached lengths and small piles of stone, and at its north-east end it incorporates two small cairns. If it had continued the reave would have run to the cairn on the summit of Piles Hill. Its purpose is obscure, but it may have been intended to subdivide the east side of the Erme Valley.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1982, SX65NW33 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV153089.

(04/11/1982) 'Bulllaven Reave' crosses open moorland from circa SX64355985 at circa 278 metres OD, to SX65036017 at circa 328 metres OD. It starts outside the present field wall in the form of isolated stone heaps and fragmentary rubble walling, 1.9 metres wide and 0.5 metres high. Clearance has occurred along its route as it has roughly paralleled Butter Brook. It does not point towards Piles Hill. The clearance and it parallel route suggest that it may be a post-medieval attempt at constructing a new intake. It does not appear as a reave at its southern end where it is aligned on a field wall. Nothing is visible beyond the southern end of the wall as expected if the wall were on a reave alignment. The poor, and unfinished nature of the feature make any assessment difficult.

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

Visible on 1946 aerial photograph.

Butler, J., 1993, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Four - The South-East, 30-33, Map 53, Figures 53.9 (Monograph). SDV337765.

The reave along the spur of the ridge descends towards the Erme, its lower end overbuilt by the first of the Bullaven feld walls. Uphill instead of continuing towards the summit of Piles Hill it alters course in the direction of Glasscombe Ball ending abruptly on the hillside due north of the stone row. It makes several slight but definite changes of course, each one at a cairn which presumacly was already in existence (Cairns '11' to '13'). The central section is discontinuous with gaps next to at least seven small mounds (Cairn'14' of 3.0 to 4.0 metres diameter) in line at regular intervals and not apparently the result of recent disturbance. They might prove to be burial cairns constructed out of the reave once it had fallen into disuse. The lowest of the series is free standing 30 metres from the field wall.

GeoInformation Group Ltd, 2010, 1:625 2010 Colour (12.5cm resolution) (Aerial Photograph). SDV346026.

Reave is visible on the aerial photography, adjoining the field system to the south-west.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV149931Worksheet: Hankin, C. F.. 1977-1980. Harford Parish Checklist. Parish Checklist. Digital.
SDV153089Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1982. SX65NW33. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV235265Article in Serial: Fleming, A.. 1978. The Prehistoric Landscape of Dartmoor. Part 1: South Dartmoor. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society. 44. Unknown. 97-123.
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.
SDV337765Monograph: Butler, J.. 1993. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Four - The South-East. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Volume Four - The South-East. Four. Paperback Volume. 30-33, Map 53, Figures 53.9.
SDV342938Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946 - 1949. Royal Air Force Aerial Photographs. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Digital). 1890 1218-9.
SDV346026Aerial Photograph: GeoInformation Group Ltd. 2010. 1:625 2010 Colour (12.5cm resolution). 2010 Aerial Photographs. Digital. [Mapped feature: #81432 ]

Associated Monuments

MDV27912Parent of: Cairn at east end of Bullaven Reave, Harford (Monument)
MDV130028Parent of: Cairn on the Bullaven Reave south-west of Piles Hill, Harford (Monument)
MDV130016Parent of: Cairn on the Bullaven Reave, Harford (Monument)
MDV130027Parent of: Mounds on the Bullaven Reave, Harford (Monument)
MDV130029Related to: Cairn north of the Bullaven Reave south-west of Piles Hill, Harford (Monument)
MDV130030Related to: Cairn north of the Bullaven Reave south-west of Piles Hill, Harford (Monument)
MDV13166Related to: Lower Piles stone alignment, Harford (Monument)
MDV16515Related to: Possible cairn south of the Bullaven Reave, Harford (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Dec 14 2021 2:03PM