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HER Number:MDV15078
Name:Venford Reave, Holne and Dartmoor Forest

Summary

Venford Reave is the longest terminal reave on Dartmoor. It runs across Holne Moor and forms the southern boundary of the Dartmeet parallel reave system. Sections of the reave are covered by other scheduled areas but the entire reave is not designated. It is included in the local list of Nationally Important Dartmoor sites.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 674 710
Map Sheet:SX67SE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishDartmoor Forest
Civil ParishHolne
DistrictSouth Hams
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishDARTMOOR FOREST
Ecclesiastical ParishHOLNE

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Dartmoor Non-designated Heritage Asset (Historical): NI Site
  • National Monuments Record: 443137
  • National Monuments Record: SX67SE96
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX67SW/102
  • Old SAM County Ref: DV747
  • Old SAM Ref: 22368
  • Old SAM Ref: 22370

Monument Type(s) and Dates

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

Full description

Royal Air Force, 1946, CPE/UK 1890, 2371-2375, 4366-4368 (Aerial Photograph). SDV140289.

Royal Air Force, 1947, RAF/CPE/UK/2149, 3429 (Aerial Photograph). SDV282746.

Royal Air Force, 1964, F61/6399, RAF/F6158/6399//032-3 (Aerial Photograph). SDV282295.

Gawne, E. + Somers Cockes, J. V., 1968, Parallel Reaves of Dartmoor, 284 (Article in Serial). SDV345858.

Venford Reave. It can be traced from its west end at the O Brook at SX665715, passing just south of the Venford Reservoir to the south of Stoke Farms. West of the O Brook it may in part be represented by a modern, probably early 19th century wall but from the stream eastwards it is merely a reave and in a few places difficult to distinguish. Due to probably later disturbance, some of the parallel reaves start a little distance north of the line.

National Monuments Record, 1976, NMR SX6372, 1/41-42 (Aerial Photograph). SDV279433.

National Monuments Record, 1977, NMR SX6672/1, 158-161 (Aerial Photograph). SDV244382.

National Monuments Record, 1977, NMR SX6969, 1 (Aerial Photograph). SDV346526.

National Monuments Record, 1977, NMR SX6970/1, 299-301 (Aerial Photograph). SDV346523.

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

Venford reave. Runs from SX629727 to SX689700. One of the longest reaves on the moor. It serves as the terminal for the Dartmeet parallel reave system.
Venford Reave has a minimum length of 7.5 kilometres. Running north from a wall corner at SX 689 698 it curves north-westwards to join the fence of the Venford Reservoir at SX 685 705, some of this section has been Medievalized. Across Holne Moor it is often original. At SX 675 710 is a triple stone row parallel to it. Descending to the O. Brook it is massive, with an enclosure on its north side and huts on the moorland side. Beyond the O'Brook it is modernised but there are orthostats remaining and numerous parallels running north from it. Further west there is probable 'D' - shaped enclosure coming off the reave to the south at SX 650 722 and the line of the reave can be picked out at this gap. The reave emerges again at SX 640 720 and in this section it has a D-shaped enclosure, two incorporated huts with one D-shaped and two vaguer attached enclosures. It then crosses the Swincombe and meets a newtake wall at SX 628 728.

National Monuments Record, 1979, NMR SX6871/4, 467-472 (Aerial Photograph). SDV346524.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1980, SX67SE96 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV346963.

(07/02/1980) Venford Reave is the southern terminal for the extensive parallel reave system (SX 67 SE 94) which extends northwards for several miles.
The south-western end now emerges at SX 689 698 in moorland at the boundary of modern fields and appears as a turf-covered bank 1.5 metres to 2 metres wide and from 0.2 metres to 0.4 metres high. A gap of 55 metres occurs in marshy ground at SX 87701 and another of 500 metres from SX 684 704 at Venford reservoir fence to SX 679 707 where the reave reappears from beneath a medieval field wall.
Across Holne Moor the reave is well preserved 2.5 metres wide and up to 0.6 metres high and larger on the descent to O'Brook at SX 665 714. Thereafter it is beneath in a modern field wall. From SX 650 722 there is a cropmark on the APs (a), bridging the gap between modern fields. This may represent the course of the reave but there is no ground evidence until SX 638 720 where a strong bank 2 metres to 3 metres wide and 0.7 metres high extends for 250 metres in a north-west direction down to the River Swincombe.
In this length the bank incorporates clearance stone and separates a few unenclosed huts in relatively open pasture on the north-east side from huts in clitter on the south-west side.
From Swincombe River at SX 635 723 a cropmark on the APs extends to the newtake wall at SX 628 728 but this cannot be identified on the ground as representing the reave. There is 100 metres of footpath then the eastern side of a field whose north and south sides are clearly visible from the hillside 400 metres to the north-east. Thereafter for the 300 metres to newtake wall there is simply a footpath and cattle walk.
For details of associated antiquities see sheets SX 67 SW and SX 67 SE. Extant parts of reave surveyed at 1:10 000 on M.S.D.

Greeves, T. A. P., 1982, Untitled Source (Site Visit). SDV234643.

Reave can be traced from SX63457235 to SX62907280 where it appears to merge with the newtake wall. Stones visible along most of its length but in places it shows just as a low bank. Possibility of a curvilinear enclosure wall attached to its eastern side but it is obscured by streamworks, at SX63307250.

Fleming, A., 1983, The Prehistoric Landscape of Dartmoor. Part 2: North and East Dartmoor (Article in Serial). SDV227880.

Venford Reave terminates at SX68886980 but may be 'fossilized' by a wall that extends south to SX68986960.

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

The Venford Reave extends from SX65007221 to SX68817000, extending from SX67SW to SX66NE. From it extend the parallel reave systems SX67SE/248, SX67SE/247, SX67SE/246, SX67SE/245, SX67SE/244, SX66SE/243 which are part of the parallel reave systems north of the double Dart. It is visible on 1946 Royal Air Force, 1977, 1979 and 1985 National Monuments Record aerial photograph.
This reave is visible as a stone wall between SX62357358 and SX62897279. From here, the reave appears as a low bank extending to SX63407235 with a small gap at SX63307273 and a small breach caused by an openwork at SX63187253. The reave is not visible amongst the streamworks on the River Swincombe, but it reappears as a bank between SX63557224 and SX63857202. It is again visible surmounted by a wall between SX64117201 and SX65007220 where it runs off the map. See SX67SW/51.

National Monuments Record, 1985, NMR SF2600, 457-462 (Aerial Photograph). SDV346525.

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

(15/07/1988) The Venford Reave, SX67SE96, identified in several sections on sheet SX67SW:
SX64827221 to SX64557216. A 270 metres long stretch survives just to the south of the maintained field wall. It consists of an intermittent stoney line which retains several post-like uprights (up to 0.7 metres tall) on the south uphill side. These lean uniformly to the north and are the remains of facing on that side, the lean caused by robbing of the bulk of the reave core and other face probably during construction of the present field wall. A large enclosed settlement SX67SW45 is attached to this section.
The reave line is carried across Deep Swincombe by the existing field wall and this is confirmed by several prehistoric field walls which end against it (SX67SW46, 179). Nothing remains of the reave itself.
It re-emerges from the drystone wall at SX63907201 and runs downslope towards the River Swincombe as a prominent bank of medium and large size stones, 2.5 - 3.2 metres wide, 0.3 metres high upslope and 0.6 metres high downslope. West of SX63617218 it becomes a grassy lynchet for 55 metres before its line is adopted by the wall of a field system (SX67SW180). The reave cannot be traced beyond the South West Water track; tinning has disturbed the area on the banks of the Swincombe. This stretch has settlements and field systems attached to both sides (SX67SW 25, 180) in relationships which confirm its greater antiquity. Two structures are built onto its north face;
SX63787206. A rectangular structure measuring 4.8 x 3.1 metres internally, with rubble walling 0.7 metres wide and 0.4 metres high.
SX63807204. A sub-circular structure with an internal diameter of 2.2 metres and rubble walling up to 1.5 metres wide and 0.4 metres high. Both interiors are let into the body of the reave. They are probably settlement features associated with SX67SW25,180) The reave is not visible on the steep slope to the north of the river Swincombe. Between SX63427232 and SX63287244 a grassy mark reveals its line in the moorland pasture. A well-defined linear boulder wall (SX67SW250) approaches from the south-west at a right angle but the junction is now missing; it may be part of an associated field system now buried under peat.
From SX63287244 to SX63167255 it is visible as a fine, turf-covered stoney bank, an average 1.5 metres wide and up to 0.5 metres high and composed of both granule and quartz stones and boulders. No upright slabs, boulders or facing stones are visible and it has been robbed in several places. Post-medieval tin openworks (SX67SW224) cut through it. A well-defined hut circle (SX67SW227) lies adjacent to its south side but is not linked.
From SX63167255 to SX62907278, its junction with a newtake wall, nothing remains but a narrow linear mark is visible on aerial photographs. Its course beyond this point is uncertain but the 1.1 metres high drystone wall which extends north-west to SX62347357 may mark its line. There is nothing however either on the ground or on aerial photographs to substantiate this.
Between SX65027221 and SX65747195 the reave line is marked by a modern drystone field wall. It is however visible in places as a slight turf-covered stoney bank utilised as footings. Part of the Dartmeet Parallel Reave System and several hut circles, lie immediately to the north (see SX67SE121).

Fleming, A., 1988, The Dartmoor Reaves: Investigating Prehistoric Land Divisions, 37, 40, 58, 67, 71, 91, 107, 127 (Monograph). SDV229071.

Other details: figures 17-19, 22, 28, 34, 39, 40, 52-4, 56, 66.

Gerrard, S., 2004, List of Sites Remaining to be Considered for Designation on Dartmoor (Un-published). SDV345444.

Although three sections of this reave are covered by other schedulings, a large section is unprotected (e.g.: SX 63423 72350). This feature was considered for designation as a Scheduled Ancient Monument during the Monument Protection Programme. The programme ended before the entire list of sites was successfully scheduled so this is included on a local list of Nationally Important Sites.

English Heritage, 2005-2008, Prehistoric Survey Information (Cartographic). SDV345521.

Map object based on this Source.

Ordnance Survey, 2011, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV346129.

Map object based on this Source.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV140289Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. CPE/UK 1890. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 2371-2375, 4366-4368.
SDV227880Article in Serial: Fleming, A.. 1983. The Prehistoric Landscape of Dartmoor. Part 2: North and East Dartmoor. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society. 49. Unknown.
SDV229071Monograph: Fleming, A.. 1988. The Dartmoor Reaves: Investigating Prehistoric Land Divisions. The Dartmoor Reaves: Investigating Prehistoric Land Divisions. Hardback Volume. 37, 40, 58, 67, 71, 91, 107, 127.
SDV234643Site Visit: Greeves, T. A. P.. 1982. Worksheet. Unknown.
SDV235265Article in Serial: Fleming, A.. 1978. The Prehistoric Landscape of Dartmoor. Part 1: South Dartmoor. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society. 44. Unknown. 97-123.
SDV244382Aerial Photograph: National Monuments Record. 1977. NMR SX6672/1. National Monuments Record Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 158-161.
SDV279433Aerial Photograph: National Monuments Record. 1976. NMR SX6372. National Monuments Record Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 1/41-42.
SDV282295Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1964. F61/6399. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. RAF/F6158/6399//032-3.
SDV282746Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1947. RAF/CPE/UK/2149. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 3429.
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.
SDV345444Un-published: Gerrard, S.. 2004. List of Sites Remaining to be Considered for Designation on Dartmoor. Digital.
SDV345521Cartographic: English Heritage. 2005-2008. Prehistoric Survey Information. English Heritage. Digital.
SDV345858Article in Serial: Gawne, E. + Somers Cockes, J. V.. 1968. Parallel Reaves of Dartmoor. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 100. A5 Hardback. 284.
SDV346129Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2011. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital).
SDV346523Aerial Photograph: National Monuments Record. 1977. NMR SX6970/1. National Monuments Record Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 299-301.
SDV346524Aerial Photograph: National Monuments Record. 1979. NMR SX6871/4. National Monuments Record Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 467-472.
SDV346525Aerial Photograph: National Monuments Record. 1985. NMR SF2600. National Monuments Record Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 457-462.
SDV346526Aerial Photograph: National Monuments Record. 1977. NMR SX6969. National Monuments Record Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 1.
SDV346963Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1980. SX67SE96. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
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.

Associated Monuments

MDV12760Related to: Cairn near the Venford Reave on Holne Moor, Holne (Monument)
MDV27685Related to: Dartmeet parallel reave system on Holne Moor (Monument)
MDV6400Related to: Down Ridge Stone Circle, Dartmoor Forest (Monument)
MDV26143Related to: Fragments of field system 800 metres north-east of Deep Swincombe (Monument)
MDV103600Related to: Group of three cairns north-east of Henroost Tin Mine (Monument)
MDV12983Related to: Holne Moor triple stone rows, Holne (Monument)
MDV20247Related to: Hut circle adjacent to the Venford Reave, Holne Moor (Monument)
MDV54387Related to: Hut circle C on Down Ridge (Monument)
MDV123227Related to: Hut circle D on Down Ridge (Monument)
MDV123228Related to: Hut circle E on Down Ridge (Monument)
MDV6346Related to: Hut Circle Settlement 550 metres to south-east of Swincombe, Dartmoor Forest (Monument)
MDV129985Related to: Longstone at west end of Holne Moor triple stone rows, Holne (Monument)
MDV103601Related to: Possible cairn on eastern edge of Down Ridge (Monument)
MDV26087Related to: Prehistoric enclosure south-west of Swincombe (Monument)
MDV126303Related to: Timber huts adjacent to the Venford Reave, Holne Moor (Monument)
MDV6268Related to: Wheal Emma Leat (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV7062 - Survey of the Wheal Emma Leat, Dartmoor
  • EDV7100 - Holne Moor Survey
  • EDV8143 - Fleming's excavations on Holne Moor
  • EDV8146 - Royal Commission Survey at Down Ridge and Swincombe
  • EDV8628 - Tor Royal Farm Duchy Farms Survey
  • EDV8632 - Sherberton Farm, Duchy Farms Survey
  • EDV8409 - Dartmoor Royal Forest Project

Date Last Edited:Dec 21 2021 1:34PM